By Steve Larkin

 

The Socceroos believe their superior fitness and Peru’s propensity for attack will play into their hands in their defining World Cup fixture in Russia.

Australia must beat Peru and rely on France to defeat Denmark to have a chance of advancing to the knockout phase of the showpiece tournament.

Peru has suffered consecutive losses and can’t get beyond the group stage.

But it has pledged to attack the Australians with its customary up-tempo style when they meet in Sochi.

Australian defender Josh Risdon said that sort of approach would suit the Socceroos just fine.

“You have seen when the game opened up against Denmark, we did very well and we created a lot of chances,” he said.

“And in terms of the high tempo, we’re fit as a side and I’m sure we can match them all day in fitness.

“They are world class … [but] I think we can really damage them going forward.”

Should Australia and France win their respective final group games, the Socceroos and Denmark will be locked on four points each.

Goal difference, goals scored, then disciplinary records and possibly the drawing of lots would then determine which nation joins France in the knockout stage.

The French are guaranteed of progressing regardless of the outcome of their game against Denmark, which will be staged at the same time as Australia’s match.

But Socceroos defender Aziz Behich said there was scant chance of the French easing up against the Danes.

“As footballers, we’re all competitors and we all want to win every game,” Behich said.

“They maybe have nothing to play for, but I’m pretty sure they want to top the group.”

Behich said it was vital the Australians didn’t get distracted by Tuesday’s permutations.

“We have just got to focus on ourselves,” he said.

“We still have to do our job and make sure that we beat Peru.

“I have got a lot of belief that France will do the job against Denmark, but we have got to focus on ourselves because we have got a tough task ahead.”

 

– AAP