- Netherlands v Ecuador
- Friday, November 25, 2022, 11:00 ET
- At the Khalifa International Stadium, Ar-Rayyan
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks the Netherlands are the favorites with bettors to win their second game. Louis van Gaal’s team are rated as -125 to take their tally to six points and reach the knockout stages, while Ecuador are the +390 underdogs, despite their solid opening day win against Ecuador. And if you fancy the draw, you can back it at +265.
|Netherlands v Ecuador|
World Cup Group A Betting Briefing
Both the Netherlands and Ecuador got off to winning starts in their opening games, but the South American side had an easier time of it, comfortably beating the host nation, while the Netherlands had to work very hard to beat Senegal with two late goals.
A few weeks ago this looked like being a tricky Group, but the absence of Senegal’s star player and captain Sadio Mane robbed the AFCON 2021 champions of their attacking edge, while Qatar appeared to freeze on the biggest stage of all, and are already off the pace.
A point apiece here would be a satisfactory outcome, particularly for the Netherlands, who play Qatar in their final game, but a victory for either side would give them a great chance of avoiding a tough Second Round match against England. The question for betting fans to weigh up is whether either of these teams will go all out for the win here.
Netherlands Lacking an Edge
Under Louis van Gaal, the Netherlands have improved considerably, but while they are defensively solid, they lack the same attacking edge that some of the other top European teams can deploy.
That was evident in the way that they struggled to overcome Senegal in their opener. The African side can be tough to play against, but the Netherlands were never in serious danger yet took 84 minutes to wear their opponents down. On the plus side, Memphis Depay, who came on from the bench in the opening game, may be fit to start here and he will certainly make a difference.
The other factor to consider is the manager’s tendency towards caution. On paper, the Netherlands are the stronger team here, but they will surely have little problem beating Qatar in their final game so there is little incentive to go all out for the win in this match and risk losing.
Ecuador Are Tough to Beat
Their opening game against Qatar was potentially a tricky fixture for Ecuador. Their record suggests that they are less effective away from the high altitude of their home soil, and playing against the host nation enjoying mass home support is often a tough ask of a World Cup team.
In the event, however, Ecuador barely had to break a sweat to beat Qatar, dominating the game and strolling to a thoroughly convincing victory that has set them up perfectly to qualify from Group A.
This game will be very different of course, and against the strong Netherlands defense, the South Americans will find it a lot harder to make progress. It is likely, in fact, that they will revert to something like their normal game plan here, concentrating on being hard to break down.
Ecuador manager Gustavo Alfaro is adept at making teams tough to beat and during the qualifying tournament, his team notably earned draws against Argentina and Brazil, the top two teams on the continent. Ecuador have not conceded a goal in seven games now, and we should expect them to make life tough for the Netherlands on Friday.
World Cup Group A Match Betting
Although this game could be a fascinating clash of styles if both teams were going for the win, that seems an unlikely scenario, given that both have already got three points in the bank.
A victory for either team would of course seal their qualification, but both will also expect to be able to go through anyway, given their opponents in the final round of Group A fixtures.
There are also sound tactical reasons to predict a low-scoring game here. The Netherlands are strong in defense but relatively weak up front, while Ecuador’s best performances against top world teams have come when they have set up for the draw.
Although it would good to see an end-to-end thriller here, I don’t think that’s likely and the sensible match-betting pick is to go for the draw.