|World Cup 2014|
ScheduleWednesday, 25 June 2014 at 22:00 GMT / 23:00 UK / 03:30 IST
VenueEstádio Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro)
Next Wednesday, Ecuador and France will measure forces at the emblematic Estádio Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro on a match that the South American team needs to win if they want to keep dreaming with a place on the next stage of the competition.
After an intense match and respective win against Honduras last week, Ecuador will face a far more challenging task when they measure forces with France next Wednesday. Ecuador are considered to be a fairly inconsistent team but during the current tournament so far and despite their opening defeat against Switzerland they have managed to put up some quality performances.
A disappointing last minute defeat against the Swiss side and a slow start against Honduras have not mamed Ecuador’s ambitions as they managed to bounce back and claim the last match for their own thanks to two goals by Enner Valencia, who is currently enjoying a fantastic moment.
For the match against the French, Ecuador’s manager, Reinaldo Rueda, will certainly opt for a more conservative approach by transforming his usual 4-4-2 into something like a 4-5-1, although his team needs to win if they want to materialize their hopes of grabbing a place at the next stage of the competition.
As for France, the match against Ecuador will only serve them to consolidate their lead at the top of the group, since they have already clinched their place for the round of 16.
After smashing Honduras on their first match, France also showed no mercy for the Swiss side last week as they won the clash 5-2. It was a great display of power from the French side, who were leading by 5-0 on the 73rd minute and only allowed two goals on the dying moments of the match. Didier Deschamps presented some surprises in his team, by playing with two centre forwards up in the front, Giroud and Benzema, with the versatile Marseille’s attacking midfielder Valbuena lurking behind them, something that offered France plenty more fire power in their attacking line.
For the match against Ecuador, Deschamps will certainly promote some rotation of players in his team since France have already booked their place to continue their journey at this competition.
France are to be considered favourites for the match against Ecuador, not only due to the fact they have scored eight goals over their last two matches but also because they look a fairly more consistent and organized team than they appeared to be during their World Cup qualification round.
Stats: W-1 L-2 D-2
Recent Form - WLDLD
Stats: W-4 L-0 D-1
Recent Form - WWWDW
Ecuador (4-5-1) - A. Dominguez - Paredes - Guagua - Erazo - A. Valencia - Noboa - Montero - J. Ayovi - W. Ayovi - E. Valencia - Caicedo
France (4-3-3) - Loris - Debuchy - Sahko - Mangala - Evra - Mavuba - Matuidi - Pogba - Griezmann - Valbuena - Giroud