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World Cup: Ecuador v France

 

 

Ecuador Screenshot 2014-05-30 11.23.20

• No injury or suspension concerns at all, so Rueda has a fully fit squad to select his starting eleven from. • A win does not guarantee qualification, with Switzerland capable of achieving necessary goal swing.
• If they do progress it would match best ever performance at a World Cup, so motivation is very high.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful

None

Returning

None

Expected Team (4-2-2-2)

Screenshot 2014-06-25 12.20.29

Team News

Ecuador picked up no new injuries or suspensions during their narrow 2-1 win over Honduras in the second game, so head into their crucial match with France boasting a completely fit squad to choose from.

Ultimately coach Reinaldo Rueda has decisions to make in just two areas of the pitch, with Oswaldo Minda and Carlos Gruezo battling to partner Christian Noboa in central midfield first and foremost. Rueda has publicly stated he will make the final decision on Tuesday after some experimentation in training, but Gruezo is the favourite to play due to his more defensive approach and increased physical prowess.

Secondly he must decide whether to stick with their aggressive 4-2-2-2 formation or whether to switch to a 4-5-1 in order to add an extra body in midfield, which would likely see Felipe Caicedo dropping to the bench as Enner Valencia is left to lead the line. Edinson Mendez would be the beneficiary here due to his ability to play in an advanced role in midfield, which would help combat the French trio stationed there.

Aside from that it would be a shock to see any further changes, with Antonio Valencia and Jefferson Montero key players on the wings and the back five now very settled. Frickson Erazo and Jorge Guagua have looked shaky at times but options at CB are sparse, while Walter Ayovi and Juan Paredes have performed very impressively at full-back so far.

Bench (from): Banguera GK, Bone GK, Achilier CB, Bagui LB, Minda CM/DM, Mendez AM/CM, Saritama AM, Ibarra RW, Arroyo LW/AM, Martinez LW, Rojas LW, J. Ayovi ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Reinaldo Rueda’s side got sucked into a very physical battle against Honduras last time out but their approach here is more likely to be focused on the counter attack, which plays to their strengths more. Montero and A. Valencia should have a lot more space to work in down the flanks after being marked tightly, with France’s full-backs very offensive.
  •   This game will provide the first real test for Erazo and Guagua in defence too, with the centre back pairing getting off fairly lightly in terms of the strikers they have faced so far. Against Switzerland the movement of the French looked outstanding and this could prove difficult to deal with, especially if W. Ayovi and Paredes get caught out of position.
  •   As a consequence the input of Gruezo/Minda and Noboa could be even more important here, with the dual defensive shield already a big part of the setup. They will be outnumbered in the centre and will need to be very wary of runners.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

  •   Ecuador head into their final game with France knowing that a win could guarantee qualification, with Switzerland needing to beat Honduras by 3 goals if they manage to win by 1. The relative matchups of the two sides make this a fairly likely possibility and so Rueda’s side probably find themselves in a position where they have to go for it here.
  •   Qualification would see them matching their best ever performance at a World Cup, when reaching the Round of 16 in 2006, so motivation should be extremely high. Throughout this tournament the coach and squad have frequently spoken of playing for Christian Benitez as well, their former captain who tragically died during qualifying in July 2013.

 

France Screenshot 2014-05-30 11.23.44

• France virtually through to the knockout phase and need only 1pt to be sure of securing top spot. • Cabaye suspended so Mavuba will come into the side as the holding midfielder.
• Other changes are possible as coach Deschamps may rotate in order to keep his players fresh.

Unavailable

Cabaye – DM – Suspended

Team News

Doubtful

Sakho – CB – 80%

Returning

None

Expected Team (4-3-3)

Screenshot 2014-06-25 12.20.35

The only enforced absence is Cabaye, who is suspended after picking up a yellow card in each of France’s opening two matches. Lille captain Mavuba – who has already appeared as a substitute – will replace Cabaye as the holding midfielder in France’s 4-3-3.

France are virtually certain of a place in the last 16 and need only 1pt to be absolutely sure of claiming top spot in Group E so coach Deschamps may rotate in a couple of areas to freshen up the side. Evra may make way for the younger Digne in order to save the Manchester United left-back for later in the competition. Sagna is an option to replace Debuchy on the right. Sakho limped off in France’s last game against Switzerland with a slight injury. He is likely to be fit for this game but Koscielny – who came on as a substitute against Switzerland – is a good alternative.

There is competition for places in midfield, as Pogba started the first game, and then Sissoko started the second. Sissoko did well enough against Switzerland to keep his place. Matuidi has been excellent so far and will start unless Deschamps believes he needs a rest.

The attacking trio of Benzema, Giroud and Valbuena will start unless Deschamps decides to rotate to save the players’ legs. Griezmann (who started the first game) and Remy are the players most likely to be drafted into the side.

Bench (from): Landreau GK, Ruffier GK, Sagna RB, Koscielny CB, Mangala CB, Evra LB, Pogba CM, Schneiderlin CM, Cabella AM, Valbuena AM/RW, Giroud ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   France are likely to set-up in exactly the same way as they did in their opening two games – a 4-3-3, with lots of energy and pressing in midfield and variety, movement and penetration in attack.
  •   The forward runs of Matuidi – if he starts – will be very important. He scored in France’s 5-2 win over Switzerland and has regularly got into advanced positions in both of France’s games so far. This is a danger in itself and also creates spaces for the France attackers to exploit.
  •   The movement of the front three has been excellent so far and should be again. They will be very difficult to pick up.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

  •   France are virtually sure of a place in the last 16 already (it would take an improbable combination of results and goal difference for them to miss out) and need only 1pt to be certain of claiming top spot in Group E. As a result, the players’ motivation is difficult to read: they may be torn between going for a third consecutive win and playing for a draw.
  •   Any players that are drafted into the side as part of the manager’s rotation plan will be highly motivated. This game would be an excellent chance for those players to stake a claim for a place in the side.
  •   The mood in the France camp is excellent. The players are united and clearly enjoying each other’s company on and off the pitch.

 

Football Form Labs Betting Preview:
Ecuador (13) v France (14), Wednesday 25th June 21:00 BST

You can get no bigger than 1.01 on France winning Group E before the final round of matches and with a likely quarter-final with Germany on the Horizon for the 4th July this is a great opportunity for Didier Deschamps to rotate his in-form side.

Ecuador aren’t fancied to progress through to the knockout stages despite currently sitting in second place and must win here or hope Honduras can do them a favour in the other game. Ecuador will be ruing the last minute losing goal they conceded to Switzerland in their opener but defensive problems are nothing new for coach Reinaldo Rueda. Both teams have scored in the South American’s last seven Internationals and six of the games have featured at least three goals. Both sides have also netted in seven of Ecuador’s last eight matches against European opposition and in their last three against teams ranked 11-20.

France have scored an incredible 26 goals in their last seven Internationals. French backers should note that winning Group E could well prove a poisoned chalice, however, as the top-half of the knockout phase looks a lot more dangerous than the bottom half. France have conceded at least twice in seven of their last 11 Finals matches and they’ve kept a clean sheet in just five of their last 15 Finals matches against teams ranked 11-20. This is just the sixth match that France have played on South American soil since 2000 and they’ve kept only one clean sheet in their previous five.

Teams separated by 0-5 ranking points have met 23 times in final group stage matches since 1978 and both teams have scored in 15 of the fixtures. With both sides looking stronger in attack than defence we expect both to notch here. Enner Valencia has really impressed so far this tournament and is definitely worth backing to score anytime if you can get 5.0 or greater but our selection here is for both teams to score.

 

Recommendation:

Both Teams to Score $1.74 with Screenshot 2014-05-21 12.49.05

 

 

 

Screenshot 2014-06-13 12.52.23

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