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Ecuador vs Italy Prediction & Betting Tips

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      Overview

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              Ecuador vs Italy Predictions & Betting Tips

              Ecuador and Italy face off in a friendly staged in the USA, as both teams begin preparation for the summer’s Copa America and European Championships.

              Date: 24/03/24

              Kick-off time: 20:00

              Venue: Red Bull Arena

              Red Bull Arena, which is home to the New York Red Bulls of the MLS, will host this weekend’s international friendly between Ecuador and Italy. Both nations are looking forward to major tournaments beginning in June, with Ecuador competing in the Copa America and Italy in the Euros. The Italians will be looking to retain their European crown, having lifted the trophy in 2021 after beating England on penalties at Wembley Stadium. Ecuador will be hoping to improve on their quarter-final finish at the last tournament.

              Italy qualified for the Euros by the skin of their teeth, finishing above Ukraine on goal difference. It highlighted how inconsistent they have been since winning the competition, as they missed out on the World Cup in 2022. During qualification, they scored 16 goals, with Davide Frattesi their top scorer with three. There are only four Premier League players in this month’s squad, with Tottenham’s Destiny Udogie and Guglielmo Vicario, Arsenal’s Jorginho and Aston Villa’s Nicolo Zaniolo included. Their opponents Ecuador are currently in the midst of playing for World Cup qualification and they are fifth in the standings with eight points from six points. They have only found the back of the net five times so far, though Italy have kept just two clean sheets in their last eight. Such is their offensive struggles, defender Felix Torres is their top scorer in qualifying with two. Perhaps their best chance of threatening the Italian backline will be from corners or free-kicks.

              This will be just the third meeting between these two sides. The last came all the way back in 2005 in a friendly. There was nothing to split the pair that day as they drew 1-1. The only other matchup was three years earlier in the World Cup. Christian Vieri scored a first half brace to secure a 2-0 win in the group stages.

              Team News

              Ecuador

              There is Premier League representation in the Ecuador squad with the likes of Moises Caicedo and Pervis Estupinan included.

              Italy

              Luciano Spalletti has handed three players international call-ups for the first time. This includes Torino wing-back Raoul Bellanova, Hellas Verona midfielder Michael Folorunsho and Udinese striker Lorenzo Lucca. Tottenham’s Destiny Udogie and Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini return to the squad after missing the last break through injuries.

              Form Guide

              Ecuador

              In their last five games, Ecuador have won three and drawn two. Ecuador have been in good recent form, as they are unbeaten in this stretch, with all of these fixtures part of their World Cup qualifying campaign. The first of these was a huge 2-1 win over Uruguay, in which they came from behind to take three points. Agustin Cannobio gave the Uruguayans the lead, but Felix Torres equalised deep into first half stoppage time. Torres completed his brace 15 minutes after the restart.

              They repeated this scoreline away from home at Bolivia. Sixteen-year old sensation Kendry Paez scored his first goal at senior international level to put them ahead. Rodrigo Ramallo thought he rescued a point with seven minutes to go, but Kevin Rodriguez scored in the sixth minute of stoppage time to steal victory. This preceded a pair of 0-0 draws back-to-back against Colombia and Venezuela. They edged possession in both fixtures, but failed to find a breakthrough, attempting just four shots on target across the two games.

              A game against Chile was their most recent, and they won 1-0. It was another tight affair, but this time they were able to find a winner. Angel Mena was the player who scored it in the 21st minute. Before they take on Italy on Sunday, they face Guatemala in another friendly on Thursday night.

              Italy

              In their last five games, Italy have won three, drawn one and lost one. Italy have been in fairly decent form, which meant they secured qualification for the upcoming Euros, though it was very tight. They ensured their place with a 0-0 draw with Ukraine, which saw them finish above their opponents in the table on goal difference. However, it was even more dramatic than the final scoreline suggested as the hosts were denied a clear penalty at the death.

              This followed a large 5-2 win at home to North Macedonia. Goals from Matteo Darmian and Federico Chiesa (x2) gave the Italians a commanding 3-0 lead at half-time. The visitors threatened a comeback with a brace from Jani Atanasov to make it 3-2. However, they could not complete a turnaround as Giacomo Raspadori and Stephan El Shaarawy added two more late on. In a rematch of the Euro 2020 final, they took on England at Wembley. However, this time it was the Three Lions who came out on top. Gianluca Scamacca broke the deadlock, but Harry Kane fired back from the penalty spot to equalise. Marcus Rashford then completed the turnaround in the second half, before Kane recorded his brace. A much more comfortable victory came against Malta. Giacomo Benaventura, Domenico Berardi and Davide Frattesi (x2) all found themselves on the scoresheet in a 4-0 win. The first game of this stretch was a 2-1 triumph over Ukraine back in September. Frattesi bagged another brace before Andriy Yarmolenko pulled one back before the break.

              Before they take on Ecuador at the weekend, Italy will face Venezuela in a friendly on Thursday.

              Footy Accumulators Prediction

              Header logoEuro 2024 Qualifying - Group C

              PosClubPWDLGDPTS
              1
              Team logoEngland
              8620+1820
              2
              Team logoItaly
              8422+714
              3
              Team logoUkraine
              8422+314
              Last updated 23/04/2024

              Where to Watch

              Ecuador vs Italy will not be available to watch on TV in the UK.

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