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2018 World Cup Qualifiers: Ecuador vs Paraguay preview

Kick-off: Thursday, 24 March @21:00 GMT

Venue: Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa (Quito)

Live Stream: fuboTV (US), bet365 (non-US)

Head to head record

Ecuador vs Paraguay 4-1 (2014 World Cup qualifiers)
Paraguay vs Ecuador 2-1 (2014 World Cup qualifiers)
Paraguay vs Ecuador 0-0 (2011 Copa America)
Ecuador vs Paraguay 1-1 (2010 World Cup qualifiers)
Paraguay vs Ecuador 5-1 (2010 World Cup qualifiers)

Ecuador vs Paraguay prediction

Ecuador will be aiming to keep their 100% record in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers intact when they host Paraguay at Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa on Thursday evening. La Tri have been impressive in the process so far, but la Albirroja should not be written off just yet.

Four straight wins for La Tri

Against all odds, Ecuador outplayed Argentina in Buenos Aires in the opening match of their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. La Tri continued with thrilling performances in their qualifying group, with the team beating the likes of Bolivia, Uruguay and Venezuela in previous three South America WC qualifiers. Bolivian tactician Gustavo Quinteros is doing a great job with the Colombian national team, but his men need to keep on making progress if they are to qualify for the showpiece tournament in Russia. Ecuador host Paraguay at Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa on Thursday and they are widely expected to extend their winning run to five games in the World Cup qualifiers. The good news is that West Ham United starlet has overcome his injury and he is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts against Paraguay.

Pedro Larrea suffered a muscle strain, with Fernando Gaibor stepping up. Jorge Guagua and Norberto Araujo were both forced to withdraw through injury, while Espanyol striker Felipe Caicedo missed the Granada game with injury and he is rated doubtful for Thursday’s World Cup qualifier. Alexander Dominguez returns to contention after missing the Venezuela game through suspension, with Renato Ibarra and Michael Arroyo returning to the squad as well.

Promising start

Following a 1-0 win over Venezuela in their opener, Paraguay did well to hold Argentina to a goalless draw in their second group game. Peru, though, proved to be a big catch for Paraguay, but thanks to a 2-1 win over Bolivia La Albirroja managed to keep their hopes of making it to the 2018 World Cup qualifiers alive. Ramon Angel Diaz’s troops will take on Paraguay and Brazil in March qualifiers and they will be more than happy should they happen to record at least one win in the upcoming matches. Juan Manuel Iturbe has switched his allegiance from Argentina and all eyes will be on the Bournemouth attacker when Paraguay take on Ecuador on Thursday. La Albirroja are after their first ever win at Ecuador and it remains to be seen if Ramon Diaz’s men are capable of making history at Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa.

Both Antonio Sanabria and Jorge Benites return to the squad, while full-back Blas Riveros could make his Paraguay debut against Ecuador. Roque Santa Cruz has been struggling with injury and he will be assessed on the match day. Pablo Aguilar was sent off in the 2-1 win over Bolivia, meaning that he will miss the Ecuador game through suspension.

Quick Facts

  • Ecuador are on a six-game winning run ahead of the visit of Paraguay
  • Paraguay suffered four defeats in last five games away from home
  • La Albirroja have never defeated La Tri in Ecuador
  • Gustavo Quinteros’ men scored exactly two goals in each of their last three home games
  • In their last meeting in Quito Ecuador recorded a 4-1 win over Paraguay

Ecuador vs Paraguay betting tip

Ecuador have been producing thrilling performances in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers so far and they do not want to stop now. La Tri are brimming with confidence ahead of the visit of Paraguay and given that La Albirroja often struggle on the travels, home win appears on the cards.

Tip: Ecuador to win

Odds: 1.50 (1/2) @bet365

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