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Ecuador vs Senegal Odds, Picks, Prediction | World Cup Preview

Ecuador vs Senegal Odds, Picks, Prediction | World Cup Preview article feature image
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DeFodi Images/Getty. Pictured: Enner Valencia.

Ecuador vs. Senegal Odds

Tuesday, Nov. 29
10 a.m. ET
FS1
Ecuador Odds +137
Senegal Odds +225
Draw +220
Over/Under 2.5 (+150 / -188)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No) (+100 / -134)
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.

Ecuador and Senegal meet for the final match in Group A with the stakes as high as it can possibly get.

The Ecuadorians have been very impressive so far in this World Cup, as they sit tied a top the ground after drawing with the Netherlands. It’s pretty simple for Ecuador – draw and you are in the round of 16. If they win, they will need to either have the Netherlands draw, lose, or win by less goals against Qatar to top the group.

For Senegal it’s also simple. They need to win to get to the round of 16 as a draw or loss means they are heading home. Senegal were able to get a 3-1 win against Qatar in their last match after being on the wrong end of some variance against the Netherlands. We’ll see if the champions of Africa can muster up a heroic performance and get to the round of 16.

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Ecuador Impressing So Far

Ecuador were incredibly impressive against the Netherlands. After the Cody Gakpo goal, Ecuador held the Netherlands to just one shot for the remainder of the match and Netherlands ended up with just 0.07 xG.

Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador: The Dutch were excellent for six minutes then Ecuador took charge. This draw knocks Qatar out of the #FIFAWorldCup. pic.twitter.com/6IdkQgtXNr

— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) November 25, 2022

Out of possession, Ecuador love to set pressing traps, which we saw a lot against the Netherlands as their high line will almost always turn into a mid-block as the match goes on.

Moises Caicedo is at the center of it because he’s one of the best best ball-winning midfielders in the Premier League. There is nothing exciting about what Ecuador did in terms of the stats against the Netherlands because ball recoveries were about even, they only had a PPDA of 11.4 and they only forced two high turnovers. They just did an outstanding job keeping the Dutch out of their penalty area because the Netherlands only had five touches inside the 18-yard box.

Ecuador’s ability to get up the wings could cause problems for Senegal. Senegal played a 4-4-2 against Qatar instead of their usual 4-3-3 with Krepin Diatta and Ismaila Sarr as the two wide midfielders. Both of those guys don’t do a ton of defending, so that puts a lot of pressure on the back four, especially with Ecuador creating overloads in the middle of the pitch.

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Senegal Have Questions, But All is to Play For

Senegal were a very possession-dominant team throughout AFCON and World Cup Qualifying, playing a slow intricate style of play. Even against the Netherlands, Senegal were able to hold close to 50% possession and had a 57.3% field tilt. Senegal also got a lot of their variance back from the Netherlands match, scoring three goals against Qatar on only 0.79 xG.

Their pressing has also really improved since that 2018 World Cup with their front three having incredibly high work rates off the ball. Senegal led the Africa Cup of Nations forcing 51 high turnovers and were fourth in PPDA at 9.8. That is going to be incredibly important in this matchup in order to hold Ecuador from pushing the ball up.

Still, there are major question marks with the Senegal attack without their best striker, Sadio Mane. Only creating 1.8 xG through your first two matches is not encouraging when you are facing an Ecuadorian defense that has allowed just 0.30 xG so far this tournament.

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Ecuador vs. Senegal Pick

There is also the game theory portion of this game. Both teams have to go for it assuming England are going to win Group B and the Netherlands are going to beat Qatar.

However, Ecuador and the Netherlands have the same goal differential, so Ecuador are also going to have to play uber-aggressively trying to potentially run up the score, which makes this one of the most fun matches of the third round. 

Given how impressive Ecuador’s defense has been combined with Senegal looking lackluster in attack and having to play more open and aggressive, I think this match sets up perfectly for the South American side.

I have Ecuador projected at +112, so I like the value on them at +137.

The Pick: Ecuador ML (+137)

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