Peru to prepare for World Cup playoff in Spain

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LIMA, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Peru will prepare for their 2022 World Cup playoff against Australia or the United Arab Emirates with a two-week training camp and friendly in Spain, head coach Ricardo Gareca said on Wednesday.

The South American team's squad will arrive in Spain on May 29 or 30 and will likely be based in Barcelona or Murcia, Gareca told a news conference.

A friendly in Spain or another nearby European country has been tentatively scheduled for the first week of June.

The Blanquirroja would then travel to Doha, where they are due to face either Australia or the United Arab Emirates in a playoff over one leg on June 13.

Peru earned a playoff spot by finishing fifth in the 10-team South American qualifying group.

"It's going to be a match of great importance and anything can happen because we'll be up against a team with the same ambition as us," Gareca said. "It's a single game and it will be like a final."

Gareca admitted that Peru's path to the playoff had been "stressful" and "intense" but insisted his players were now ready for the challenge of securing a World Cup place.

"We started [the qualifying campaign] very badly with a complicated run of matches. But we finished well and we've legitimately earned the right to be a part of this playoff," the Argentine said.

He added that veteran forwards Paolo Guerrero and Jefferson Farfan would be considered for selection despite fitness concerns.

The World Cup will be played in Qatar on from November 21 to December 18. Enditem

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