An exciting match at Rodrigo Paz Delgado Stadium in Quito between Ecuador and Brazil. First of all, it must be said that the game is played at 2700 meters above sea level, making it difficult for everyone, except perhaps for the Bolivians, who play even higher than sea level.
Ecuador is the surprise of these South American World Cup qualifiers and, with 23 points, can consider itself in a very privileged position for direct qualification. At home, it has lost only one game and won five, and, in addition to the home factor, it has a warm crowd that with a victory would actually give the selection a place in Qatar.
Brazil is a steamroller in the South America group with 11 wins and 2 draws, both away. The team can afford not to win, and that will make the difference, in our opinion, because the Ecuadorians, as well as technically valid, are craving a missed qualification in 2018.
The two teams met on Matchday 7 of the qualifying round last June. In the second leg at the Estádio Beira-Rio, Brazil claimed a comfortable 2-0 victory.
Ecuador will compete in this match after a 1-1 draw with El Salvador in an International Friendlies match.
Ecuador, led by Gustavo Alfaro, has scored eight times in their previous six appearances. In the same time period, they have been outscored by a total of five goals.
Brazil’s last match was a 0-0 draw with Argentina in the WC Qualifiers-South America.
The Brazilian defense has conceded only two goals in the last six games thanks to a series of strong performances. In the same period, they have scored ten goals. Brazil has had a flawless run in qualifying so far and has already qualified for the finals.
Injured and suspended
Ecuador: (Byron Castillo, Luis Fernando Leon).
Brazil: (Neymar, Fabinho, Lucas Paqueta)
Ecuador vs Brazil Predicted XI
Ecuador Predicted XI: Alexander Dominguez; Robert Arboleda, Félix Torres, Piero Hincapie, Pervis Estupiñán; Angelo Preciado, Joao Joshimar Rojas, Moises Caicedo, Alan Franco; Enner Valencia, Jordy Caicedo
Brazil Predicted XI: Ederson Moraes; Dani Alves, Eder Militao, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro; Bruno Guimares, Fred, Everton Ribeiro, Gerson; Gabriel Barbosa, Vinicius Jr.
Brazil visits Ecuador in a challenge that does not promise fireworks. The Verdeoro are no longer those of a few years ago. Today, they are a team capable of conceding only four goals in 13 qualifying matches for the World Cup thanks to a 4-4-2 with two line-breaking midfielders in front of the defense.
The collective before the singles and the result before the show. This is the new Brazilian course that has led the national team to register two 0-0 in a row in the last two games with Argentina and Colombia and practically never concede a goal.
Ecuador, on the other hand, is very tough at home. Qualification for the next World Cup is close at hand, but must be sealed by a great result. It is useless to think of snatching points from Brazil with technique and imagination; you have to do it by giving very little and starting again. This is Ecuador’s plan, but it is difficult to implement against an opponent who is very slightly off balance. So it will be a chess game that, according to our prediction, will end with less than three goals.
On the 15th day of the World Cup Qualifiers in South America, the match between Chile and Argentina is on the calendar. The national team of the Albiceleste has already qualified for the tournament in Qatar and wants to finish the group undefeated. Lionel Scaloni’s team has never lost and has the second best defense of the tournament after Brazil (6 goals conceded). After three wins, Messi and his teammates have just managed a goalless draw against the Verdeoro.
Things are not calm in Chile either: Martin Lasarte’s men lost the direct duel at home against Ecuador, making it difficult for them to qualify. In fact, Chile is currently sixth in the standings and out of the game, but the gap between the different national teams is minimal and everything will be decided in the last days.
However, in order to nourish the hope of ending up in Qatar, the Roja will have to improve their attacking performance (only 15 goals in 14 games). Since Chile “stole” two consecutive Copa Americas from Argentina a few years ago, this match has become a classic.
Chilean fans hope for a repeat of the 0:1 win against El Salvador in the international friendlies.
A zero in the scoreline has been a common feature of Chile’s recent games.
In five of the last six games before this one, a bet on “both teams to score” would have meant a loss. We will see if that pattern can be maintained here.
Argentina’s last match was a 0-0 draw with Brazil in the WC Qualifiers-South America.
Argentina’s defenders have put in a string of strong performances, conceding a total of 0 goals in their last 6 matches. Their strikers have scored eight goals in that period.
Injured and suspended
Chile: (Arturo Vidal)
Argentina: (Lionel Messi, Cristian Romero, Joaquin Correa)
Chile vs Argentina Predicted XI
Chile Predicted XI: Claudio Bravo; Mauricio Isla, Guillermo Maripan, Gary Medel, Eugenio Mena, Claudio Baeza, Charles Aranguiz, Erick Pulgar, Eduardo Vargas, Benjamin Brereton, Alexis Sanchez
Argentina Predicted XI: Emiliano Martínez, Nahuel Molina, Germán Pezzella, Nicolás Otamendi, Marcos Acuña, Giovani Lo Celso, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul, Julián Álvarez, Lautaro Martínez, Ángel Di María
The match is important for the hosts, who are in danger of leaving the race for the next World Cup. A defeat would be a sporting drama, but the opponent is stronger, so it is possible that they will be tactically smart to bring home even a draw and then play it all out with an opponent within reach.
The Albiceleste from the super attack actually proved to be less committed than in the past. Defense became the strong point, with only six goals conceded in thirteen games that guaranteed the passage of the round far in advance without any defeat. On the other hand, this new mentality limits the offensive efforts, so Argentina is no longer a goal machine.
Based on the previous matches of the two national teams and also on the last direct clashes, we can see that there are not many goals. We would therefore like to suggest the “Under 2.5” sign, which means less than three goals in this challenge.