Will the South American squad burst the hosting nation’s bubble? Or can Qatar kick off its first-ever World Cup appearance with a victory?
Continue reading for our free predictions, the latest World Cup odds, and analysis.
Qatar vs. Ecuador
Sunday, November 20 – 11:00 AM EST at Al Bayt Stadium
Qatar vs. Ecuador Trends
• Ecuador netted 27 goals during their World Cup qualifiers
• Qatar has allowed 33 goals in their previous 18 games against top-50-ranked teams
• Ecuador has drawn 8 of their last 11 games in all competitions
Qatar Looks to Snap a 20-Year Trend
Qatar will be the first nation to debut as a host since 1930, and no team has succeeded in their debut World Cup game since Senegal did twenty years ago. Paired with the controversy and criticism Qatar has received since becoming World Cup hosts, they’ll be fired up to play the spoiler card and prove their doubters wrong this Sunday.
When evaluating the records of past host nations, Germany, Brazil, and Russia were all able to win their opening games –a statistic that bodes well for Qatar. Furthermore, since the 32-team era began, no host nation has lost its opening game.
While Qatar versus Ecuador isn’t the spectacular meeting most soccer fans want for an opening game, the potential outcome for a goal-fest in Al-Khor is highly probable.
Expect Goals from Qatar and Ecuador
When these two teams previously met (October 2018), the Qataris won 4-3. However, we should note that the Ecuador squad has since undergone a complete makeover. And it’s a new generation of Ecuadorian stars that’s assisted them in their return to the big stage.
Splitting these teams and picking an outright winner is difficult; they’re separated by a mere six positions in the FIFA rankings. When considering the significant home advantage the competition hosts own, an Ecuador victory isn’t as likely as many expect.
However, the hosts have won just 3 of their previous 18 meetings with the top 50 teams, so picking them as an outright winner is just as risky.
As the previous four World Cup opening fixtures have seen 17 goals, this trend is something we can get behind. When coupled with the 33 goals Qatar has conceded against the top 50 sides and the fact that Ecuador netted 27 goals in 18 World Cup qualifiers, expecting goals on Sunday is a betting position that makes the most sense.
Qatar vs. Ecuador Betting Picks
The World Cup betting odds position Ecuador as the favorite and player-for-player. They unquestionably own the more talented squad.
However, as Ecuador managed their highest scoring World Cup qualifying campaign and Qatar has forward threats such as Almoez Ali, over 2.5 goals, and both teams to score at close to +200 is an excellent price.
Soccer Pick: Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 (+195) at Bet365
Soccer Pick: Over 1.5 Goals (-188) at Bet365