The Netherlands will play their second game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup this Friday when they face Qatar slayers Ecuador at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Venue: Khalifa International Stadium (Doha)
The Netherlands are unbeaten in their last 16 games (W12, D4).
The Oranje have kept three clean sheets in their last three games.
They have scored 2+ goals in 12 of their last 16 games.
Ecuador have kept seven clean sheets in their last seven games.
They are unbeaten in their last eight games (W3, D5).
They have failed to win against 13 of the 24 European opponents they have faced over the years.
Ecuador have taken the most corners in eight of their last nine matches.
Head to head
Both teams have never met in competitive action.
Latest performances in all competitions
After scraping past Senegal in the first game, the Netherlands will look to record their second win of the World Cup and put themselves in the next round of the tournament.
The Oranje needed two late goals from Cody Gakpo and Davy Klassen to see off a stubborn Senegal side that made life difficult for them.
Head coach Louis Van Gaal admitted that his team was both “shoddy and messy” in possession, although three crucial saves from debutant goalkeeper Andries Noppert ensured they weren’t made to pay.
The Heerenveen goalie will hope his team will rise to the occasion in this game and allow him to have a more straightforward game. With his nation never going out at the group stage in ten attempts, another decent display from the stopper may help produce the positive result expected for #8-ranked Oranje as they meet a side ranked 36 places below them by FIFA, Ecuador.
Possible Netherlands starting line-up
Remko Pasveer; Jurrien Timber, Virgil Van Dijk, Nathan Aké; Denzel Dumfries, Teun Koopmeiners, Frenkie De Jong, Daley Blind; Cody Gakpo; Vincent Janssen, Steven Bergwijn.
Ecuador etched their names in the history books last Sunday when they beat hosts nation Qatar in the opening game.
Two goals from Enner Valencia made that difference and ensured that Ecuador became the first side to beat the host nation in their first game of the tournament.
And now, Gustavo Alfaro’s will look to build on their first win and progress to the next round of the tournament. Last time out, Ecuador took inspiration from the manager’s “Winston Churchill” inspired pre-match speech, where he stated, “if you don’t change your opinion, you’re not changing anything, so we had to change some things!”.
They will have to stick to that elite mindset if they want to make the most of their chances in Qatar, given that they have failed to win against 13 of the 24 European opponents that Ecuador have faced over the years, which includes two games against the Dutch (D1, L1).
But given that Ecuador have kept seven consecutive clean sheets ahead of this encounter, La Tri will fancy their chances here. However, none of the sides they faced during that run sat inside FIFA’s top ten, so they face an actual test of their credentials here.
Possible Ecuador starting line-up
Hernan Galindez; Angelo Preciado, Felix Torres, Piero Hincapie, Pervis Estupinan; Gonzalo Plata, Jhegson Mendez, Moises Caicedo; Michael Estrada, Enner Valencia, Romario Ibarra.
|Netherlands to win||Draw||Ecuador to win|
Netherlands 2-0 Ecuador