WC Qual - CONMEBOL
September 11, 2012
Peru v Argentina: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.2||1.2|
|Goals against *||0.5||1.0|
|Last 5 home||D-L-W-W-D||W-D-W-W-W|
|Last 5 away||L-L-L-L-D||L-W-D-D-W|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Peru | Argentina|
Argentina coach Alex Sabella is well aware of the threat posed by Peru ahead of his side's World Cup qualifier against them in Lima.
Sabella and his players landed in Peru last night and were given a hostile welcome, with upwards of 200 locals lining the streets to hurl insults at them.
Lionel Messi came in for the most stick, having the name of domestic rival Cristiano Ronaldo chanted at him, while regional newspaper headlines read: 'Trample the flea (Messi)' and 'Messi is afraid'.
That will be multiplied tomorrow night when 80,000 fans are expected at the Monumental Stadium.
Sabella, though, knows his players have a tough enough job on the field, without thinking about what is going on off it.
"Peru deserve more points than they actually have in the standings. I always like the Peruvian style of play and I'm surely they will be hard rivals,'' he said.
Sabella is likely to make two changes from the side which beat Paraguay 3-1 last week, with Javier Mascherano and Pablo Zabaleta replacing Rodrigo Brana and Hugo Campagnaro.
Also, due to Sergio Aguero's absence, Ezequiel Lavezzi will continue in attack alongside Messi and Real Madrid duo Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain.
Lavezzi is enjoying himself, too, saying: "When I played with the national team in the last Copa America, my performance wasn't the best.
"Now I'm more calm and playing good football.
"Now we want to focus on defeating Peru and to secure the World Cup berth as soon as possible.''
Argentina have so far collected 13 points in six games with a 4-1-1 record, and are one point ahead of Chile and Ecuador.
In the Peru camp, tensions are high about the fitness of striker Paolo Guerrero who has a leg injury.
Should he be unable to play, the strikeforce will comprise of Claudio Pizarro and Jefferson Farfan, who scored twice in the recent 2-1 home victory over Venezuela.
And, despite what the fans think of Messi, coach Sergio Markarian is full of respect for him and has employed Edwin Retamoso to track him throughout.
"Facing Messi in an extra motivation. I'm sure I will give a plus performance, only because of his presence,'' Retamoso said.