Qatar vs Ecuador predictions: Same Game Parlay picks at +1077 odds - Enner Valencia could star for Ecuador

DUSSELDORF - (lr) Enner Valencia of Ecuador, Wataru Endo of Japan during the Japan-Ecuador International Friendly at the Dusseldorf Arena on September 27, 2022 in Dusseldorf, Germany. ANP | Dutch Height | Maurice van Steen /ANP/Sipa USA
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The long wait is finally over. The World Cup starts on Sunday with host nation Qatar taking on Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium (11:00am ET on FS1, Peacock or Telemundo).

It will be the first of 64 games that will decide which nation is the strongest soccer force with the final taking place on December 18, and host nation Qatar will be desperate to get off to a fast start. This is the first time Qatar has played in the World Cup finals and it has not played a competitive game since December 2021, so the players will have been looking forward to this and be anxious to make a strong impression in Group A, which also features Senegal and the Netherlands.

This will be the fourth time that Ecuador has played at the World Cup and it has failed to reach the elimination stages twice, most recently in Brazil in 2014. La Tri did reach the second round in Germany in 2006 but was beaten 1-0 by England with David Beckham scoring the winning goal. Ecuador did well to finish 4th in the strong South American qualification group and will want to make a fast start with two potentially tougher group games ahead.

Be sure to check out the rest of our World Cup soccer predictions and remember to gamble responsibly.

But now, here is the parlay we have prepared for this matchup.

Under 2.5 goals (-205)

Over 3.5 cards (-190)

Enner Valencia anytime goalscorer (+220)

Same Game Parlay odds: +1077

Under 2.5 goals (-205)

The host nation has never lost when playing in the opening game of a World Cup and Qatar will be desperate not to be the first, given that most hosts have been from much stronger footballing nations. It may not be easy for Qatar to make a fast start and it would be understandable if it attempts to ease its way into the game and be cautious in the opening exchanges. Three of the last 4 opening games have featured at least 3 goals – Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the first game 4 years ago – but it is difficult to see this match following that pattern.

Only Brazil and Argentina conceded fewer goals in the South American qualifying competition than Ecuador and La Tri should be confident of keeping Qatar at bay. Gustavo Alfaro’s team has tied 4 of its last 5 games 0-0 – the other match was a 1-0 win over Cape Verde – so under 2.5 goals looks a solid play to start our Same Game Parlay.

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Over 3.5 cards (-190)

While this game may not be packed with goalmouth action, it should still be highly competitive, so there could be a few cards shown. Qatar and Ecuador will both know that 3 points from this game will be vital if they are to qualify for the next stage, with tougher Group A games against Senegal and the Netherlands to come.

So while the lack of offensive quality means there may not be many goals, there should be no shortage of commitment and the tackles could come flying in. Russia’s win over the Saudis produced just 2 cards, but this matchup looks likely to be more competitive and it could follow the pattern of the previous 2 opening games, both of which featured 4 yellow cards.

Enner Valencia anytime goalscorer

This game does not feature a host of soccer superstars, but Ecuador possesses the strongest goal threat in Enner Valencia and if anyone is going to find the net, it could be him. As highlighted above, his team has struggled for goals in recent games, but it is difficult to ignore Valencia’s international record as he has scored 35 goals in 74 appearances. He has also been in excellent form in Turkey for Fenerbahce, scoring 13 goals in 12 Super Lig appearances, so it would be no surprise if he can transfer that on to the world’s biggest soccer stage.

Make sure you check out the rest of our World Cup predictions for the early games


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