Football News

Ecuador vs Venezuela predicted XIs: Confirmed team news and probable line-ups

By Squawka News

Published: 9:35, 21 June 2024

Ecuador kick off their 2024 Copa America campaign by facing Venezuela at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Saturday at 11pm (UK time).

Although they’ve never previously won this competition, Felix Sanchez’s side possess plenty of young talent and could perform well during what is the first major international tournament for many of them.

They kick off their Group B fixture list with a clash against Venezuela, a side who enter the competition as one of the lesser fancied teams overall, but one who could still cause them trouble in the opening game.

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Youthful Ecuador should make winning start

Outside of South American powerhouses Argentina and Brazil, it could be argued that Ecuador currently possesses the strongest crop of young talent on the continent.

With their Copa America squad boasting 12 players either aged 23 or under, the country looks set for a bright future on the field but despite that, this competition as a whole could come too soon for them to really challenge at the business end.

There’s not too much experience amongst their 26-man-squad compared to other nations in this year’s tournament but equalling their best ever finish – fourth place in 1959 and 1993 – could instead be set as a healthy target.

As for their opposition on matchday one, Venezuela, they head to the US in poor recent form after winning none of their last five internationals. A goalless draw against Ecuador in November should give them encouragement, but after just scoring twice overall in that entire stint, they could struggle in Group B alongside Mexico and Jamaica.

They’ll hope that their experience can carry them to a respectable group stage performance, but having won just one of their last 10 head-to-head clashes, a slow start wouldn’t surprise.

Ecuador vs Venezuela team news

Ecuador enter the 2024 Copa America blessed with a young squad, who between them, boast some incredible potential. Midfielder Moises Caicedo is perhaps the most well-known of those after he made 35 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in his debut campaign with the club this season.

He’ll be joined at Stamford Bridge next summer by 17-year-old Kendry Paez, who already has nine caps for Ecuador under his belt. The teenager will likely play in the hole behind striker Enner Valencia, his country’s all-time top scorer with 41 goals in 86 caps.

Although Venezuela aren’t as flushed with young talent, they instead enter this competition with plenty of experience on their side in comparison. Alexander Gonzalez is likely to start in the back four, whilst Tomas Rincon – who has more caps for his country than any other player in history – will anchor the midfield.

Up front, it’s likely to be veteran Salomon Rondon who leads the line. He’s his country’s all-time top scorer with 41 goals and the former West Brom, Newcastle and Everton striker struck twice in four games when this tournament was last held in the US in 2016.

Ecuador vs Venezuela predicted line-ups

Ecuador (4-2-3-1): Galindez; Preciado, Torres, Pacho, Hincapie; Caicedo, Gruezo; Franco, Paez, Sarmiento; Valencia.

Venezuela (4-2-3-1): Graterol; Gonzalez, Ferraresi, Osorio, Navarro; Pereira, Rincon; Savarino, Otero, Machis; Rondon.