08:00 PM IST: Welcome to the live blog of Netherlands vs Ecuador, FIFA World Cup 2022 Group A match in Qatar.

After starting the FIFA World Cup 2022 with a win both Netherlands and Ecuador will be confident before going toe-to-toe. Louis van Gaal’s side were unimpressive for the most part but managed to find two late goals to beat Senegal. Whereas, the south American side showed a very dominant display against the host Qatar.

Netherlands and Ecuador are meeting at a major tournament for the first time. Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro will be confident that he can assemble a team able to frustrate Louis van Gaal’s side.

Netherlands Form (all comps): DWWWW

Ecuador Form (all comps): WDDDW

Player to watch

Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay is known as your typical modern-day footballer. Flashy cars, artistic tattoos and a lavish off-the-field lifestyle but it’s usually on the field that he catches your eye as a player who can tear apart the opposition’s defences whilst looking the part. 

Very few footballers can pull off what Memphis Depay does on the pitch with his phenomenal skill-set like the ability to glide through players in tight spaces with such a low centre of gravity and the artistry of the footballing mind to make things out of absolutely nothing, it’s comparable to his style off the pitch. In the upcoming matches, he will be very crucial for the team.

Michael Estrada

Estrada inevitably provides a significant aerial threat, a key quality needed for a striker leading the line. He doesn’t necessarily have the physicality of other strikers his size, but nevertheless has an excellent leap and intelligent movement to compensate for it.

Estrada can also act as the focal point for long balls, bringing others into play with flick-ons and knock-downs. In the likely absence of Enner Valencia, his role will be crucial for the attacking department.

Head-To-Head Stats

Matches: 2

Netherlands: 1

Draws: 1

Ecuador: 0

Predicted Lineup

Netherlands XI:(3-5-2)

Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, Berghuis, De Jong, Blind; Gakpo; Memphis, Bergwijn

Ecuador XI:(4-3-3)

Galindez; Preciado, Torres, Hincapie, Estupinan; Mendez, Plata, Caicedo; Sarmiento, Estrada, Ibarra

Netherlands vs Ecuador: Prediction

Van Gaal’s men have more top-level quality and experience to edge this, but Ecuador will be in the touching distance all the way. It could be a tight, relatively scrappy game, but Holland will come out as a better team.

Prediction: Netherlands 2-1 Ecuador