Ecuador welcome Venezuela for a World Cup qualification showdown at Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado on Thursday at 9pm (UK time).
The hosts, who are seeking a World Cup finals return after missing out in 2018, look to get back to winning ways while Venezuela have lost each of their six WCQ road games.
Ecuador vs Venezuela live stream:
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Where to watch Ecuador vs Venezuela on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: Fubo Sports Network
Scoreline prediction: Ecuador 2-1 Venezuela
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Ecuador vs Venezuela build-up & previous line-ups:
After their opening 12 fixtures Ecuador find themselves sitting third in the South America qualification standings. Gustavo Alfaro’s side have won five matches to date — a total only surpassed by Brazil (10) and Argentina (7) — while registering 20 goals, boasting the second-deadliest attack. Ecuador come into this latest round having won just one of their previous five WCQ games, but they’re unbeaten in their last three matches at home (two wins and one draw). Prior to 2002 they had never played in the World Cup finals, but a place in Qatar would be a fourth tournament appearance for Ecuador, who missed out in Russia 2018.
Equally absent last time out was Venezuela who have never qualified for the beautiful game’s showpiece event. Chances of La Vinotinto breaking that duck anytime soon is really slim. As things stand, Leonardo González’s men are bottom of the standings and nine points adrift of Uruguay who occupy fifth spot which guarantees advancement into an inter-confederation play-off game. On top of that Venezuela have claimed two wins from 12 matches played while conceding 22 goals, the second worst defence behind seventh-placed Bolivia (25), and they’ve lost each of their previous six WCQ games away from home.
- Ecuador (vs Mexico): Galíndez; López, Segovia, Mejía, Cruz; Ortiz, Carcelén, Quiñónez; Angulo, Estrada, Corozo.
- Venezuela (vs Chile): Fariñez; Hernández, A. Martínez, Ferraresi, González; J. Martínez, Rincón; Bello, Peñaranda, Machís; Ramírez.
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Player to watch: Michael Estrada (Ecuador)
Expected to lead the line for Ecuador is 25-year-old Toluca marksman Michael Estrada who is chasing the competition’s golden shoe. Estrada was on hand to score in their recent 3-0 win over Bolivia which brought his WCQ tally to five goals. Only Lionel Messi (6), Neymar (7) and Marcelo Moreno (8) have registered more goals than him so far. Interestingly all of those strikes have come on home soil and in Ecuador’s six home matches Estrada has only failed to score against Peru and Chile, though he did create a goal against the former albeit in a losing effort.
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