Ecuador and the Netherlands meet in the second round of the World Cup Group A in Qatar. They’ve won the respective opening matches, Ecuador routinely handling the hosts, Qatar, while the Netherlands beat Senegal following a challenging and rough event. The first place is at stake here, but more importantly, the knockout stage. A draw would suit both units, with the note that the Netherlands would benefit more than the South American unit, which needs to stay unbeaten against Senegal in the final round if that happens.
Netherlands (-110) beat Senegal 2-0, with both goals coming in the second half. The struggle Oranje displayed in the attack was more than concerning for their fans throughout the opening 45 minutes. Still, as soon as Memphis Depay entered, it was obvious that the boys in orange accelerated.
The defense was more or less stable, but there were a few times when we saw glitches. Van Dijk was solid, but we need to admit that Blind wasn’t explosive enough on the flank and that Dumfries isn’t anywhere near his previous form.
This was the fourth consecutive win for the Netherlands, who scored two goals at least in seven of the last eight events. Depay should be ok to start, and we believe that he and Gakpo are going to be much more dangerous than Janssen.
Ecuador (+375) got three points pretty routinely. Qatar was defeated in the first half an hour, and after that, El Tri lowered the tempo, trying to stay healthy and fresh for other challenges. Enner Valencia, who scored two goals, picked up an injury, but he is ok and Ecuadorian fans don’t have to worry about anything.
Just a few noticed that Ecuador didn’t allow a goal in the recent seven games. Their rivals throughout that span were Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia, meaning they have a solid defensive line.
Ecuador won’t be keen on attacking the rivals, but will probably wait for a counter-attack or some set piece. One point is enough for these guys, who will be ultra-defensive here.
Depay will be back in the lineup, which is a massive boost for Oranje. With him on the field, the Netherlands is very fast and lethal upfront. We might see a few other changes, potentially, with Blind out and some other player in.
On the other side, Valencia is Ok, and that’s the most important news for the fans and punters. He is Ecuador’s top star and by far the most critical player.
Head to Head Games
In 2014 these two nations played a friendly international game. The result of that event was 1-1, with Montero scoring for El Tri, and Robin van Persie netting for Oranje.
The Ecuadorian game plan will be “all in defense, Valencia alone upfront.” Be sure that El Tri aims for one point here and that they would rather pick a draw than a chance to win if there is the slightest prospect for them to lose. Because of this, we would pick under 2.5 goals, with the current odds at -110 at the moment.
Pick: Under 2.5 goals -110
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.