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Netherlands vs Ecuador – World Cup: Team news, lineups & prediction

The Netherlands and Ecuador go toe-to-toe on matchday 2 of the World Cup group stage looking to maintain their perfect starts.

Louis van Gaal’s side were unimpressive for the most part but managed to find two late goals to beat Senegal, while La Tri downed hosts Qatar on opening night.

Another win for either side will all but secure their place in the knockout stages. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this one.

Netherlands vs Ecuador H2H Results (All Time)

Current Form (Last Five Games)

Netherlands team news

Van Gaal made a couple of surprising calls for the Netherlands’ opener against Senegal which he is likely to reverse here.

Matthijs de Ligt admitted post-match that Jurrien Timber was probably better off starting at right centre-back, so the Ajax man may be given the nod.

Vincent Janssen was largely ineffective up front alongside fellow Tottenham alumni Steven Bergwijn, meaning Memphis Depay should return.

Netherlands Starting 11 (3-4-1-2): Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, Berghuis, De Jong, Blind; Gakpo; Memphis, Bergwijn
Bench: Bijlow, Pasveer, De Ligt, Frimpong, Malacia, De Vrij, Taylor, Klaassen, Koopmeiners, De Roon, Lang, Simons, Weghorst, De Jong

Ecuador team news

Gustavo Alfaro is sweating on the fitness of star striker Enner Valencia, who scored a brace against Qatar before being withdrawn with an injury.

Should they want to bring in a natural number nine, then Michael Estrada could be shifted centrally with Brighton’s Jeremy Sarmiento granted a start out wide.

Ecuador Starting 11 (4-3-3): Galindez; Preciado, Torres, Hincapie, Estupinan; Mendez, Plata, Caicedo; Sarmiento, Estrada, Ibarra
Bench: Ramirez, Dominguez, Arboleda, Arreaga, Pacho, Palacios, Porozo, Gruezo, Mena, Reasco, Cifuentes, Franco, Rodriguez, Preciado

Writing this partially in hope of a jinx, this shouldn’t be an affair high on goals.

Ecuador were happy to shut up shop after putting two past a very poor Qatar side, while the Netherlands scarcely threatened Senegal until the latter stages in one of the more drab games so far this tournament.

Van Gaal’s men have more top-level quality and experience to edge this, but Ecuador will be in touching distance all the way.

Prediction: Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador

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