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Netherlands national football team
World Cup | Group Stage
Nov 25, 2022 at 4pm UK
Ecuador national football team

1 - 1

Gakpo (6')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Valencia (49')
Mendez (57')

Preview: Netherlands vs. Ecuador - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's World Cup clash between Netherlands and Ecuador, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Netherlands will be bidding to make it two wins from their opening two matches at the 2022 World Cup when they take on Ecuador at Khalifa International Stadium on Friday.

Louis van Gaal's side recorded a 2-0 victory over Senegal on Monday, while Ecuador were also 2-0 winners in their Group A opener, beating the tournament hosts Qatar on Sunday.

Match preview

Cody Gakpo celebrates scoring for Netherlands against Senegal at the World Cup on November 21, 2022.© Reuters

Netherlands had to be patient against Senegal on Monday, as it did appear that the points were going to be shared in their opening match, with the two teams level at 0-0 heading towards the final whistle.

Cody Gakpo sent Holland ahead in the 84th minute of the contest, though, before Davy Klaassen secured the points in the ninth minute of added time at the end of the 90, with Van Gaal's side making the perfect start to their Group A campaign.

Netherlands will face Ecuador on Friday before rounding off their group stage against the hosts Qatar next Tuesday, and it will be fascinating to see what this group of players can achieve in the tournament, as Holland have impressed in their last two World Cups.

The national team, who have never won the World Cup, were absent from the finals back in 2018, but they reached the final of the 2010 competition before finishing third in 2014.

Should Van Gaal's side manage to win Group A, they would take on the runner-up from Group B in the last-16 stage of the competition, which could be England, Wales, the USA or Iran.

Netherlands will not be looking too far ahead at this stage, though, especially ahead of a contest with a talented Ecuador outfit, who proved to be too strong for the hosts in the opening match on Sunday.

Ecuador forward Enner Valencia celebrates scoring against Qatar at the World Cup on November 20, 2022.© Reuters

Enner Valencia scored both goals against Qatar, with the former West Ham United forward netting from the penalty spot in the 16th minute before making it 2-0 in the 31st minute.

Ecuador now have their toughest two games in the section, facing Netherlands on Friday before taking on Senegal next Tuesday, and the latter will be desperate to bounce back from their loss to Holland.

La Tricolor did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but they were present at the 2014 competition, being eliminated in the group stage, while their best-ever performance came in 2006, with the tournament seeing them advance to the last-16 stage before losing to England.

There had been some doubt over Ecuador's spot in Qatar, with Chile and Peru lodging appeals due to the involvement of Byron Castillo during the qualification fixtures, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed with FIFA in saying that the 23-year-old was able to represent the national side.

Ecuador secured their spot in the finals by finishing fourth in their South American qualification campaign, picking up 26 points from 18 matches.

La Tri only lost one of their last seven matches in the qualification phase, with the run including 1-1 draws with Brazil and Argentina, which is an indication of their credentials, and they will certainly be confident of putting another victory on the board in this match.

Netherlands World Cup form:

Netherlands form (all competitions):

Ecuador World Cup form:

Ecuador form (all competitions):

Team News

Ecuador's Enner Valencia celebrates scoring their second goal on November 20, 2022© Reuters

Memphis Depay was not deemed fit enough to start for the Netherlands against Senegal due to his injury problems for Barcelona this season, but he played the final 30 minutes of the contest.

The attacker, who has 42 goals at international level, could now come in for a start here, replacing Vincent Janssen, with Gakpo and Steven Bergwijn also set to feature in the final third of the field.

There are unlikely to be any changes elsewhere, with a 3-5-2 formation set to include Frenkie de Jong and Steven Berghuis in midfield, and Denzel Dumfries and Daley Blind in the full-back areas.

Marten de Roon was an injury doubt ahead of the contest with Senegal, but the midfielder also featured off the bench last time out, and he is again expected to receive minutes at some stage of the contest.

As for Ecuador, Valencia suffered an injury to his knee during the clash with Qatar, but the 33-year-old is expected to be available to start this match.

Valencia is the national team's all-time leading goalscorer with 37, while he now has five strikes at World Cups, so the medical team will be working to ensure that he is able to feature here.

Head coach Alfaro could make just the one change from the side that started against Qatar, with Jeremy Sarmiento potentially being introduced for Michael Estrada in what would be a change of shape.

Robert Arboleda is pushing for a spot at the back, though, and the 31-year-old will come into the manager's thinking ahead of kickoff on Friday.

Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Noppert; De Ligt, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, F de Jong, Berghuis, Blind; Gakpo; Memphis, Bergwijn

Ecuador possible starting lineup:
Galindez; Preciado, Torres, Hincapie, Estupinan; Plata, Caicedo, Mendez, Ibarra; Sarmiento; Valencia

SM words green background

We say: Netherlands 2-1 Ecuador

This has the potential to be a very, very difficult match for the Netherlands, and it would not be a surprise to see Ecuador triumph, or for the points to be shared. Van Gaal's side were impressive against Senegal, though, and we just have a feeling that they will navigate their way to a huge three points here.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal before the match in June 2022
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Group A

Q Netherlands Netherlands32107
Q Senegal flag Senegal32016
3 Ecuador flag Ecuador31114
4 Qatar Qatar30030

Group B

Q England flag England32107
Q United States USA31205
3 Iran Iran31023
4 Wales flag Wales30121

Group C

Q Argentina Argentina32016
Q Poland Poland31114
3 Mexico Mexico31114
4 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia31023

Group D

Q France France32016
Q Australia Australia32016
3 Tunisia Tunisia31114
4 Denmark Denmark30121

Group E

Q Japan Japan32016
Q Spain Spain31114
3 Germany Germany31114
4 Costa Rica flag Costa Rica31023

Group F

Q Morocco Morocco32107
Q Croatia Croatia31205
3 Belgium Belgium31114
4 Canada Canada30030

Group G

Q Brazil Brazil32016
Q Switzerland Switzerland32016
3 Cameroon flag Cameroon31114
4 Serbia Serbia30121

Group H

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Republic of Korea South Korea31114
3 Uruguay flag Uruguay31114
4 Ghana flag Ghana31023

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