WORLD CUP PREVIEW

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

WORLD CUP PREVIEW Fri: Netherlands v Ecuador

Both the Netherlands and Ecuador enjoyed positive opening games of the tournament and will be hoping for more success when they come face-to-face with one another at the Khalifa International Stadium on Friday.

The Netherlands were really made to work for their win against Senegal on Monday, but they got there in the end.

Cody Gakpo broke the deadlock in the 84th-minute when he beat Edouard Mendy to the ball after a deft chip into the box from Barcelona playmaker Frenkie De Jong and, with Senegal chasing the game, Netherlands managed to add a second in stoppage-time through Davy Klaassen.

Memphis Depay, who is a key man in the Netherlands attack, was not fit enough to start the match against Senegal but did come on for the past half an hour and could well come into the starting XI for this one after getting some much-needed minutes in the bank.

Should the Netherlands win this game, it would put them up in pole position to win the group which would see them take on the runner-up of from Group B in the last-16, which looks likely to be either USA or Wales at this stage.

Netherlands v Ecuador
FIFA World Cup 2022 Group A
16:00 ITV1 / STV / ITVX / STV Player

LAST FIVE STATS

HEAD-TO-HEAD
MAR 2006 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador
MAY 2014 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador

NETHERLANDS
NOV 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP Senegal 0-2 Netherlands
SEP 2022 NATIONS LEAGUE Netherlands 1-0 Belgium
SEP 2022 NATIONS LEAGUE Poland 0-2 Netherlands
JUN 2022 NATIONS LEAGUE Netherlands 3-2 Wales
JUN 2022 NATIONS LEAGUE Netherlands 2-2 Poland

ECUADOR
NOV 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP Qatar 0-2 Ecuador
NOV 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Ecuador 0-0 Iraq
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Japan 0-0 Ecuador
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Saudi Arabiai 0-0 Ecuador
JUN 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Ecuador 1-0 Cape Verde Islands

Although Ecuador managed to comfortably win their first group game, they never really got out of second gear so it is still unclear how good they really are.

A first-half brace from former West Ham striker Enner Valencia was enough to get past a Qatar side that looked disjointed, disorganised and appeared to completely collapse under the pressure.

Valencia suffered a scare in that opening match against Qatar after being forced off with a knee injury, but Ecuador have been boosted by the news that it doesnโ€™t appear to be serious and he should be fit to feature against the Netherlands.

Weโ€™ve seen some great games so far at this World Cup, but I donโ€™t expect this one to be a classic with a cagey, tight affair potentially in the offing here. I think that Netherlands and under 2.5 goals is the play here.

JOE CITRONE


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PROFIT/LOSS (WORLD CUP 2022): LOSS 6.18 points (after matches on Thu 24 Nov)
(Will include returns from both the OUTRIGHT and SPECIALS previews too)


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