Ecuador vs Brazil by Enzo
Ecuador had a decent run in the group stage at Copa America and looked quite competitive as they managed to get a point against Brazil and against Peru, trashing Haiti 4:0 in the last round, but that wasn't enough to progress the quarter-finals stage against home side USA since they suffered 2:1 defeat back in the middle of June.
They had much more of the ball possession but with the chances created, they didn't efficient enough to get through to the semi-finals stage. Getting back to the World Cup qualifications, the team currently stands at second position sharing actually the first one with Uruguay and with all the chances to take the direct ticket for Russia as they are four points ahead of sixth placed Brazil, but will need to continue in the same way. They have suffered 3:1 defeat in the last qualifying round losing to Colombia and will need to get back to the winning way in order to keep the in the top four positions.
They won't be able to count this time at defenders Eraz and Ayovi, while national coach Quinteros also miss offensive midfielders Mane, Arroya and Cazares who are all injured. Montero and Valencia should be their two forwards for this game.
Brazil disappointed quite a bit for now in the qualifying progress having in mind their overall quality, as the team currently stands at sixth position with 2-3-1 record. Still, everything remains open and the team still has great chances to reach the direct ticket for the World Cup, but will need to show more of their offensive style and reliability in the defense.
As for the Copa America, they disappointed once again, as the team took the third position only, suffering narrow 1:0 defeat to Peru in the third round when it was needed the most for them to progress the group. In two other matches, they had a goalless draw to Ecuador and won over amateurish Haiti 7:1. Manager Dunga had to leave the post and 38 years old Edu came, who had great results with Corinthians in previous years. In the mean time, their Olympic team has won the gold medal in Rio, to improve the atmosphere around the national football association at least a bit.
As for the absences, coach can't count at central defender Paulista and Luiz, as well as midfielder Luiz Gustavo and striker Hulk. Neymar, Coutinho and Gabriel should be leading their offensive part of the team.
It remains bit of a question mark how will Brazilians react under new coach, but I believe he won't be playing too offensively here. Game similar to the one at Copa America is what I expect here, so under remains my choice here with a goalless draw not surprising me at all.