Guerrero’s lack of matches will hamper Peru
- Coach: Ricardo Gareca
- Star players: Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo), Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow), Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo)
- Best World Cup result: Quarter-finals (1970, 1978)
- Performance at last World Cup: Did not qualify
A first World Cup appearance since 1982 did not come easy for Peru.
Ranked 50th by Fifa at the start of qualification three years ago, few anticipated they would be edging out Chile, Ecuador and Paraguay for South America's fifth and final place.
Yet Ricardo Gareca's side have managed to climb to 11th place in the world standings.
The Incas have won a major battle even before they reach Russia as captain Paolo Guerrero succeeded in his bid to overturn a 14-month ban for doping late last month.
Guerrero's battle galvanised an entire nation but that passion may still not be enough with the 34-year-old hampered by a lack of match practice since receiving the ban last November.
Peru, however, boast something of an inside track as Jefferson Farfan will find himself in familiar surroundings having starred for Russian champions Lokomotiv Moscow last season.