Odds Ecuador Will Win World Cup 2014
Ecuador will be the de facto home team in Group E, which is the best thing they have going for them at Brazil 2014. Despite the geographic advantage, and the relatively strong turnout by supporters expected at their Group Stage matches, Ecuador may need a little help to advance. The squad features star players like Jefferson Montero and Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia, but have played hot and cold of late, twice playing Argentina to a draw and defeating Uruguay, but losing to Chile, Colombia, Spain and Germany.
The squad was struck hard by the untimely death of striker Chucho Benitez last July, which leaves a major hole in Ecuador’s midfield. Questions also exist as to how well the Ecuadorian squad, who are +350 longshots to win Group E, are organized and whether they are prepared to face top-tier competition on the game’s biggest stage. While Honduras is a team that Ecuador should beat, they will be underdogs when they face France and Switzerland.
Early World Cup Pick
Ecuador played well in the qualification round and have recorded some big wins against top-tier squads in the last two years. While they will not be intimidated when they face Group E favorites France and Switzerland, the simple question is whether they will be good enough to compete. They were defeated 2-0 in the only match they have ever played against France, a 2008 friendly, and will face Switzerland for the first time. Ecuador is most likely to find themselves in the role of spoiler. If they can exploit a suspect French defense with up-tempo, high energy play, they could extend France’s World Cup nightmare, and combined with a win over Honduras, maybe even advance to the Group of 16.
Ecuador Qualifying Results - How they got to the World Cup
Dominant at home but not so much on the road, Ecuador posted a big win over Chile and played Argentina to a draw en route to qualifying for the first time since 2006.
11/09/12 Uruguay 1 – 1 Ecuador
12/10/12 Ecuador 3 – 1 Chile
17/10/12 Venezuela 1 – 1 Ecuador
26/03/13 Ecuador 4 – 1 Paraguay
08/06/13 Peru 1 – 0 Ecuador
11/06/13 Ecuador 1 – 1 Argentina
07/09/13 Colombia 1 – 0 Ecuador
10/09/13 Bolivia 1 – 1 Ecuador
11/10/13 Ecuador 1 – 0 Uruguay
16/10/13 Chile 2 - 1 Ecuador
Ecuador World Cup Group Play Schedule
15/06/14 Switzerland vs. Ecuador - Nacional
20/06/14 Honduras vs. Ecuador - Arena da Baixada
25/06/14 Ecuador vs. France - Estadio do Maracanã
Ecuador Key Players
Jefferson Montero FW Morelia – Technically gifted and possessing lots of speed, Montero is a key element of Ecuador’s up-tempo style of play,
Edison Mendez MF LDU Quito – One of Ecuador’s veteran leaders, Mendez is a set piece specialist who will be counted on to counter France and Switzerland’s strong midfields.
Antonio Valencia MF Manchester United – Nominated for the Best Young Player Award at the 2006 World Cup, Valencia has matured into a feared attacking midfielder who will be counted on to produce offense.