World Cup previews: Peru v Denmark

Here’s what the Football Manager 2018 data has to say about the likely line-ups for this match. Yesterday I waited until the teams were announced and it all felt a bit rushed, so today I’ve done the analysis up front using my best guesses of likely starting 11s.

The explanation for this is here but in a nutshell I’ve treated the Football Manager database like a scouting tool and compared the two teams across a range of measures by combining their in-game attributes.


Here’s how the two teams stack up in terms of overall ability according to Football Manager’s researchers, i.e. the game’s hidden ‘current ability’ stat:

Denmark certainly appear to be the stronger side on paper, with Christian Eriksen unsurprisingly rated as the star man. If the Danes have a weakness then it could be at full back, so if Carrillo and Larsen start as expected then the right flank could be a profitable avenue for Peru to exploit.


Here I’ve mixed together the passing and crossing attributes with a bit of technique thrown in, to see which players should be the most comfortable – and productive – in possession:

This is an area in which the South Americans look to be at least the equal of their opponents. Neither team is overly-blessed with passers at the back, so with the exception of Trauco for Peru I wouldn’t expect to see the defenders heavily involved in trying to fashion chances. For Denmark, Eriksen is clearly the main man, while their opponents will probably look more to their wingers to create chances.

Aerial threat

Here’s how the two teams measure up in the air, which could well be the difference at set pieces:

I was surprised at how short Peru’s midfield is – the leftmost three in the likely five are all 5’7″ or shorter – so they may find find themselves short of useful bodies in corner and free kick situations at both ends of the pitch.


Here I’ve combined (and weighted) the in-game attributes for pace and acceleration and mixed in some stuff on fitness and agility:

It looks as though the Peruvian full backs will be bombing up and down a fair bit, with Cueva in the middle also likely to be buzzing around. The three attacking midfielders in Denmark’s set-up can also stretch play, which will probably be necessary given the two more defensively-minded players sitting behind them.