After weeks of tension building – including at the bookmakers – the time has finally come: the 2022 World Cup is about to start. The opening match will be between host nation Qatar and Ecuador, pool mates of the Dutch national team. Which country can call itself the leader in Group A for at least one day? In this preview, we look ahead to the World Cup match between Qatar and Ecuador. We take you through the odds at the bookmakers and share our prediction with you. Our betting tip for this World Cup opener can also be found here!
Qatar World Cup 2022 – Latest Team News and Statistics
It has now been almost 12 years since Qatar was named organiser of the 2022 World Cup. A unique event, as the World Cup has not been hosted in the Middle East before. Moreover, it is only the second time the World Cup will be hosted on the Asian continent. In 2002, the World Cup was hosted by Japan and South Korea.
As the host country, Qatar logically qualified directly for the 2022 World Cup without having to go through a qualification phase. It is competing in the World Cup for the first time. However, the Qatari side did achieve some successes on a piecemeal basis in recent years, with 2019 being the highlight. In that year, Qatar became Asian champions for the first time, by beating Japan 1-3 in the final.
In the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, Qatar played the necessary practice matches. These included a draw against Chile (2-2). Since its election as World Cup organiser, the country seems to have made great strides on the sporting front. Despite this, the full squad of national coach Félix Sánchez Bas is still active at club level in the Middle East.
Ecuador World Cup 2022 – Latest Team News and Statistics
Ecuador will be there for the fourth time at a World Cup. In its first three participations, the South American country reached beyond the group stage once. That was in 2006, when the curtain fell in the eighth final against England. Ecuador had earlier that tournament managed to survive a pool with hosts Germany, Poland and Costa Rica.
In the qualification phase for the 2022 World Cup, Ecuador finished a handsome fourth despite failing to win its last four matches. In doing so, it narrowly stayed ahead of Peru and Colombia. Only Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil fared better than Ecuador, which reached the quarterfinals of the Copa América in July 2021.
Ecuador’s participation in the 2022 World Cup very briefly came into question just before the tournament. The country reportedly fielded a player born in Colombia in a qualifier against Chile. That turned out to be true, but Ecuador was not deprived of its World Cup ticket. However, it does start the next qualification phase with a three-point deduction and was fined €100,000.
Qatar – Ecuador Previous encounters
Qatar and Ecuador played each other three times before in the past, each time in a friendly. The first two duels were in February 1996, in Doha. The first game ended 1-1, a week later it was 1-2 for the South Americans. Four years ago, the two countries met for the third time. In a spectacle match, Qatar took the win (4-3).
Betting on Qatar – Ecuador, World Cup 2022: Betting Tip & Odds
A lot depends on this opening match at the 2022 World Cup for both Qatar and Ecuador. The Netherlands and Senegal are favourites in Group A, so an early exit is imminent for whoever loses this duel. Qatar have made considerable strides in recent years, but will face a seasoned opponent who held their own excellently during a long qualifying phase on the South American continent. We think that experience will be the deciding factor. The Qatari side will also have to deal with the expectations of the home crowd. If Ecuador wins and also keeps the nil, you will get back more than three times your stake for that bet at bookmaker Bet365.
Tip: Ecuador wins and keeps the zero
Quote: 9/4 at bookmaker Bet365
Risk rating: Medium
Recommended stake: 3/10