Venezuela v Ecuador: Everything points to a tight game

Dan Fitch is not expecting to see many goals when Venezuela and Ecuador meet in a crucial Group B match, between two sides scrapping to squeeze into the knockout rounds.

Patched up Venezuela grab vital point

Venezuela defied the odds to emerge with an extremely valuable point against Colombia and will now try to build upon that performance against more beatable opposition.

Despite being severely understrength having lost a string of players who tested positive for COVID-19, Venezuela were able to hold Colombia to a 0-0 draw. Colombia created numerous chances, but a combination of poor finishing and the heroics of the Venezuelan goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez kept the game scoreless.

Having now faced the two best teams in Group B and claimed an unexpected point, Venezuela now meet the two teams - Ecuador and Peru -that they are in competition with, to reach the knockout stages. Merely avoiding defeat in these games, could now be enough to progress, in a tournament that sees only the bottom teams from two groups of five, eliminated.

Ecuador seek to get back to winning ways

Ecuador go into this match behind Venezuela in Group B, having lost 1-0 in their game against Colombia.

Like Venezuela, Ecuador contained Colombia for most of what was a scrappy match, but were ultimately beaten by a brilliant free-kick routine, which saw Edwin Cardona finish off a well-rehearsed move. The defeat was Ecuador's third successive loss, having been beaten 2-0 away at Brazil and then 2-1 at home to Peru, in World Cup qualifiers at the start of the month.

Before these run of losses, Ecuador had won four games in a row. A single victory could be enough to secure a place in the top four of Group B and this depleted Venezuela side could represent Ecuador's best chance of securing a win.

Low scoring game likely

Ecuador are the 1.78 favourites, with the draw at 3.6 and Venezuela at 5.4.

It's fair that Ecuador are favourites, though they might be considered a little short at this price, considering that Venezuela have just held Colombia to a draw. With so many players out, Venezuela quite naturally showed little ambition against Colombia and this seems likely to be another tight game, with few goals.

Under 2.5 goals at 1.68 could actually prove to be quite generous. If you're looking for a bet at bigger odds, consider the 0-0 half-time draw at 2.62, or under 1.5 goals at 3.0.

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