NEW ZEALAND make the voyage across the Pacific looking to upset the odds and defy Peru's first World Cup since 1982. Will Dyer's (@w2dyer) on hand to find the betting angle in another play-off tie that enters the second leg 0-0 on aggregate.
Peru v New Zealand | Thursday 16th November 2017, 02:15
The Cake Tin was baked in sunshine and there was a great atmosphere for the first leg of this match-up but, as expected, the game was very cagey. New Zealand didn’t muster a shot on target and Peru weren’t much better, having marginally more possession and three shots registering on goal.
Peru had a chance cleared off the line early on and, in general, played well enough on their travels to assume that they’ll boss the reverse fixture back in Lima.
However, the Incas journey this far has been built on an ability to grind out narrow victories; not one of their nine home World Cup qualifiers saw them win by more than one goal.
Stubborn All Whites
New Zealand, for all their inadequacies at this level of International football, have shown time and again that they have the guile to remain competitive. Although the Confederations Cup saw a heavy defeat at the hands of European champions Portugal and two other defeats to Mexico (2-1) and Russia (2-0), the All Whites can hold their heads high considering what they have to work with.
A big talking point in the home leg was benching Chris Wood, surely their best player. Expect him to start this time round. With Peru likely to dominate possession, he’ll need to hold the ball up well and his clinical finishing and presence at set pieces could also be vital.
As with Australia v Honduras, with the tie in the balance and Peru having no away goal to cling to, the South Americans would be hit hard by a Kiwi goal. I expect NZ to be a little more fluid this time with Wood at the head of the diamond but if they can manage a shot on target at home then there’s little hope for them on the other side of the Pacific.
Unconvincing but a Home Win
You can get quotes of 20/1 on a New Zealand victory in 90 minutes and I think that flatters Peru. To me the value is in a low scoring home win and there’s a definite disparity between the bookmakers’ prices about that, Betfair going 6/4 but Betway 19/10 on Peru to win and Under 2.5 goals.
Normally I’d suggest backing both the 1-0 and 2-0 correct scores but there’s actually a better return taking Betway’s 19/10. New Zealand can keep it tight against a team that has no track record of running away with games and is under huge pressure as 1/5 favourites to qualify for their first World Cup since 1982.
Peru v New Zealand – Peru to win and Under 2.5 goals (19/10 Betway)