Australia vs Peru talking points as Bert van Marwijk must unleash Tim Cahill if Socceroos are to progress – Article

Australia must defeat already eliminated Peru in Sochi on Tuesday (18:00 UAE time) if they are to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages.

They must also hope France do them a favour by beating Denmark in the other match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Here’s our talking points ahead of the game.

What’s up with Tim Cahill?

The non-appearance of the Socceroos legend has been difficult to understand so far at this World Cup.

Australia have been desperate to find goals in both their games to date – one to save a point against France in the opener and one to get a much needed victory over Denmark.

But despite this, and having the Socceroos record goal scorer at his disposal on the bench, coach Bert van Marwijk has been reticent to introduce Cahill.

Instead making the curious decision to throw on Jackson Irvine, the Hull Midfielder not known for his goal scoring exploits.

But now the perfect opportunity has arisen with starting striker Andrew Nabbout injuring his shoulder during the Denmark match and being ruled out of the crucial Peru clash.

Tomi Juric will come into the starting line-up in place of Nabbout but surely the door must now be open for Cahill to come on as a substitute.

A late winner would be the perfect fairy tale ending for Cahill and allow him to become just the fifth player to score in four World Cups, joining Pele, Uwe Seeler, Miroslav Klose and Cristiano Ronaldo.

No Farfan for the Incas

Peru also have their injury issues upfront with Jefferson Farfan ruled out as he remains in hospital after being knocked out in training at the weekend.

Coach Ricardo Gareca admits the team suffered a “scare” when the Lokomotiv Moscow striker collided with a team-mate on Saturday, with the Peruvian Football Federation confirming he has sustained a “traumatic brain injury”.

Concussion protocols mean the 33-year-old will miss Peru’s last match before they fly home having already been eliminated after their first two fixtures.

Mile Jedinak scores from the spot against Denmark

Mile Jedinak scores from the spot against Denmark

Australia must score from open play

It’s a long time since Australia scored a goal in open play at the World Cup – way back to Brazil in 2014 when Tim Cahill knocked one in against the Netherlands in the 21st minute of their clash at Estádio Beira-Rio.

The second goal in that match came from the penalty spot courtesy of Captain Courageous Mile Jedinak, who has also scored both of Australia’s goals so far in this World Cup – also from the spot.

Australia have looked industrious in their two matches so far, with Mathew Leckie especially busy around the box.

But neither Celtic’s Tom Rogic or the injured Nabbout really looked like scoring against either France or Denmark and that has to change if Australia are to get the much needed victory against Peru.

The Incas attack has also been poor as they have failed to get on the score sheet at all so far in the tournament – either from the penalty spot or open play. And with Farfan out injured, scoring becomes even tougher for the South Americans.

With Peru’s lack of threat upfront and the Socceroos regent need to score goals to progress, surely Van Marwijk must now relax his safety first approach and go for broke.

Or rely on VAR and the ice-cool nerves of Mile Jedinak.

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