Ecuador will look to consolidate their position in the automatic qualification places for next year’s World Cup when they travel to Venezuela on Sunday at 9.30pm (UK time).
Gustavo Alfaro’s La Tri have been the surprise package of CONMEBOL’s Qualifiers for Qatar 2022, with the nation currently third, behind only Brazil and Argentina, while Venezuela have been the continent’s punching bag, sitting bottom of the pile with just one win from 10 matches.
How to live stream Venezuela vs Ecuador online:
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Scoreline prediction: Venezuela 1-2 Ecuador
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Venezuela vs Ecuador build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
It’s been a disastrous qualification campaign for Venezuela, who remain rooted to the foot of the table and with just the single win to write home about. Former New York Cosmos and Portland Timbers manager Giovanni Savarese — who had spells with Swansea City and Millwall during his playing days — recently took the reins for his nation and he will be desperate to transform their fortunes to mark these embryonic stages of his tenure with a few shoots of optimism for the future.
Ecuador’s form meanwhile has been chalk and cheese from Venezuela’s and they have put themselves in a strong position to qualify for next year’s quadrennial competition. Alfaro’s men are currently third in the table, and despite losing four games, the most of any nation in the top six, their five triumphs have been them in an excellent position to stay hot on the heels of the leading duo, Brazil and Argentina.
- Venezuela (vs Brazil): Graterol; Hernandez, Mejias, Ferraresi, Gonzalez; Rincon, Martinez, Machis, Soteldo, Penaranda; Ramirez.
- Ecuador (vs Bolivia): Ramiez; Castillo, Torres, Hincapie, Estupinan; Gruezo, Caicedo, Mena, Plata, Valencia; Estrada.
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Player to watch: Pervis Estupinan (Ecuador)
Pervis Estupinan has emerged as one of the hottest prospects in Ecuadorian football and could be a player whom Watford come to regret selling. The 23-year-old joined the Vicarage Road club in 2016 from LDU Quito as a precocious attacking full-back, but spent his four seasons at the Hornets out on loan. His stint with Osasuna in 2019/20 prompted Villarreal to secure his services last year and he was a key cog as Unai Emery’s men won the Europa League. He took that form into Copa America and was named in the Team of the Tournament across the summer with the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Marquinhos and Casemiro. Estupinan has simply sensational this year at international level, and will continue to play an invaluable role as the nation try to consolidate their standing in the top four and make Qatar 2022.
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