Ecuador vs. Paraguay / World Cup Qualifier – Besides many friendly matches this week will be played matches of the fifth and sixth round of South American qualifications for the coming World Cup that will be played in 2018 in Russia. At the beginning of the fifth round we have a derby, given that leading Ecuador, who is the only team with maximal results, will face fourth Paraguay, which at the moment has five points fewer. Let’s add that both their matches played in previous qualifications for the WC ended with victories of home teams, while five years ago the two teams drew 0-0 at the Copa America. Begins: 24.03.2016 – 22:00 CET
What else to say about Ecuador except that they started this qualification for the WC surprisingly good, especially if we know that they didn’t show much at last year’s Copa America where they were eliminated after the group phase. However, the consolation victory over Mexico in the last round has announced a beginning of a great series of results, that in fact brought them the leading position in the qualifications. True, after the end of Copa America they played a friendly against Honduras at home which they won by 2-0, while in October and November they won four more qualifying matches.
It all started with the away match against Argentina, which they won by 2-0, while after that they won by the same result at home Bolivia. In November they faced Uruguay at home and they won again, this time by 2-1. The crown of their efforts was away victory over Venezuela 3-1. Right because of that we are sure that will seek to win all three points against Paraguay, especially as goalkeeper Dominiguez, stopper Achilier and forward E. Valencia are back in the team, while recently recovered midfielder A. Valencia will stay on the bench. On the other hand, due to injuries this time will stay out of the pitch stopper Guagua, midfielders Castilo and Bolanos, and forward Caicedo.
Probable lineups Ecuador: Dominguez – Paredes, Achilier, Erazo, W. Ayovi – Quinonez, Noboa – Martinez, Cazares, Montero – E. Valencia
Unlike Ecuador, Paraguay presented itself at last year’s Copa America in a much better light and at the end it was fourth, after losing to Peru in the battle for third position. After that coach Diaz players were defeated by 3-2 in a friendly match against Chile, but it was obviously just an additional motive before these qualifications for the WC, given that they opened them with a very valuable victory away over Venezuela 1-0. However, in next two rounds they won just one point, when they drew at home with Argentina, as they lost away to Peru 1-0 after that.
Right because of that they had imperative to win next match against Bolivia and at the end they succeeded, but only after many problems and a result turnaround as Lezcano and Barrios managed to score for the final 2-1. All this indicates that the two players will be their main force in attack, while for the first time at these qualifications two young and talented forwards, Sanabria and Iturbe, will be on the bench. Let’s add that recovered midfielder Ortigoza is back in the starting line-up, while on the other hand due to injuries this time will be absent midfielders Caceres and Santana, and forwards Bobadillo and Valdez, while stopper Aguilar is suspended.
Probable lineups Paraguay: Silva – Valdez, da Silva, Gomez, Samudio – Ortigoza, Ortiz – Gonzalez, Lezcano, Perez – Barrios
Ecuador – Paraguay PICK
Although it is expected from Ecuador’s players to win in front of their fans for the fifth consecutive times as these qualifications we much have in mind that the other team is very tough Paraguay, so we have decided for a pick with few goals.
Pick: under 2.5 goals
Odds: 1.68 at Unibet (down to 1.63 can be played)