The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup is kicking off this Sunday morning in Al Khor where hosts of the tournament Qatar welcome Ecuador. Thirty-two teams will battle for the most prestigious soccer trophy and fans across the globe will enjoy a total of 64 games.
France is the defending champions from 2018, winning the World Cup in style with a 4-2 win over Croatia. “Les Bleus” are labeled as one of the top three candidates to win this year’s event too, side by side with Brazil and Argentina.
The upcoming weeks should bring a lot of interesting matches, starring some of the best players in the world like Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Junior, and many others.
The Canadian national team has ended the 36-year drought and they will make an appearance in Qatar for the second time in history! This is surely going to be a great introduction for the 2026 World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by Mexico, USA, and Canada. Canada Sports Betting will be covering all of the games with bet365 match day previews that will highlight interesting lines and prop bets.
As mentioned above, there is only one match scheduled for Sunday, Nov 20. Here are the current odds for the Qatar vs. Ecuador match:
Qatar vs. Ecuador betting preview
In terms of the latest odds for this clash, all betting sites in Canada are slightly favoring Ecuador to win the match. The South American side has way more experience on the big stage in comparison to the hosts. This is going to be Ecuador’s fourth appearance in the World Cup, and the majority of its players have been members of well-known European clubs.
That can’t be said for the hosts, who haven’t defeated a notable soccer nation in the last three decades. Qatar didn’t have to play qualifiers for the tournament and all of its warmup games were against inferior teams.
Qatar wins if: As mentioned above, Qatar doesn’t really have any experience when it comes to big soccer competitions. However, if it wants to reach the playoff stage, a match against Ecuador is probably the best opportunity to earn points. The other two teams in the group, Netherlands and Senegal, are ahead in terms of quality. The Maroons will have to be aggressive, especially in the opening minutes and try to find an early goal, which is not going to be an easy task against Ecuador’s back line. Home-field advantage and a stadium full of fans should be a big confidence booster for Felix Sanchez’s boys. This Spanish coach was appointed five years ago, and managed to win the Asian Cup with Qatar in 2019. Qatar has to take a risk here and start the match in an aggressive formation to clinch three points.
Ecuador wins if: Ecuador caused an upset in the South American World Cup Qualifiers by finishing ahead of Peru, Colombia, and Chile. The biggest reason behind its success was phenomenal defending. Ecuador had the third-best defence in the region, rarely conceding more than one goal in the deciding duels. Ecuadorian fans are probably not thrilled with the current strategy to park the bus against all teams and focus on the counter-attacks, but it is providing solid results. Four out Ecquador’s past five games have ended 0-0 against Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Iraq. Three points against Qatar are very realistic for The Tricolors if they remain disciplined and reduce their defensive mistakes. Enner Valencia, 33, can surely take advantage of Qatar’s inexperienced defenders and find the net. He bagged 13 goals already in Turkish Super Lig playing for Fenerbahce.
Mismatch to watch: An interesting thing about the strategies of these two sides is that both are usually relying on counter-attacks. Home winger Akram Afif has been the biggest difference-maker in Qatar’s most recent competitive games. He understands and knows his teammates perfectly as the majority of them are playing in the Qatari tier one league. His movement can be unpredictable and confusing for the opposition, as he cuts into the middle quite often.
As mentioned above, home-field advantage could also be the x-factor on Sunday. The 2002 World Cup in South Korea is the best example of how a red-hot atmosphere can carry the home team which clearly lacked quality. Something similar happened in the last World Cup in 2018 when the hosts Russia were stopped in the quarterfinals.
Prop to watch: I personally wouldn’t be surprised to witness a goalless draw on Sunday. It’s highly probable that both sides will be afraid to lose the opening game, especially Ecuador, which may result in a very defensive formation. The South American side probably wouldn’t mind winning one point from this clash, and then battling head-to-head against Senegal for the knockout round spot. As mentioned above, four out of its last five games across all competitions have ended nil-nil. This correct score bet is currently at +550 odds.