Australia – Ecuador Predictions
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Australia 3-1 Ecuador
Date: 24.03.2023 | Match at: 10:00 | League: FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.38 | Bookie: Unibet.
Australia – Ecuador Predictions and Preview
- Australia’s first appearance since their most successful ever World Cup (WC) finals has been marketed as the “Welcome Home” series, with friendlies against Ecuador in their two most populated cities (Sydney and Melbourne) to begin the road to North America in 2026. A new cycle marks a continuation of Graham Arnold’s five-year tenure in the job after he recently signed a new contract through to the end of that showpiece event in three years’ time.
- In his own words, here Arnold has opted for a “blend of experience and youth” with an aim to “build depth in the squad”. His first task involves not only continuing a run of six consecutive scoring appearances that encompasses their run to the 2022 WC Round of 16 (L 2-1 to Argentina), but to secure a win against South American opposition in regulation time for the first time since 2010 (D3, L5), having most recently advanced to the last WC by penalties against Peru (0-0).
- One of those five losses was a 4-3 result in London (2014) against the Ecuadorians, who like Australia, scored in each of their WC games but couldn’t hold Senegal out on the final matchday, subsequently falling in the group stage once again. Despite defeating Qatar 2-0 in their opening match of that WC, the board must have liked what they saw from the opposition, because they have since appointed Qatar’s previous manager Félix Sánchez Bas through to 2026.
- What direction Sánchez will take the team in remains to be seen – his primary aim is to “continue in the ascending line that the team has shown in recent years” – but they were involved in plenty of drab yet relatively successful affairs in the final year of Gustavo Alfaro’s stint. The team played nine consecutive games outside of South America for just one loss (W3, D5) and only nine goals scored or conceded across that entire period.
- Players to watch: Australia forward Jason Cummings is currently the A-League’s second-top goalscorer of the season (14), including 12 from 15 games since the WC. Ecuador captain Enner Valencia has scored in eight of his last ten appearances for Fenerbahçe for a total of 14 goals in that period. That followed WC goals against Qatar (two) and the Netherlands (one).
- Hot streak: Ecuador led at half-time in each of their last seven wins.
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