Paul Higham likes the look of Giorgian De Arrascaeta as Uruguay’s main goal threat as they host Ecuador in a crucial World Cup qualifier…
Uruguay v Ecuador
Thursday 9 September 23:30 kick-off
It’s a huge game in South American qualifying for the 2022 World Cup with fourth-placed Uruguay hosting third-placed Ecuador in Montevideo.
It’s perhaps a slight surprise to see Uruguay one place and one point behind their opponents, but a recent run of draws where they really struggled to score saw their campaign hit a big speed bump.
They scored just once in those three draws, to Paraguay, Peru and bottom side Venezuela, before the brake finally came off in a 4-2 win over Bolivia last time out.
Ecuador are a funny side to get a handle on as despite being third in the standings they’ve been very inconsistent, mixing big home wins against Uruguay (4-2) and Colombia (6-1) with a disappointing defeat to Peru and draw with Chile.
They have had the slight upper hand on Uruguay in the head-to-head meetings recently with three wins and two defeats in the last five, but home advantage really seems to matter here as the away team has won just one of the last 13 World Cup qualifying meetings.
Defensively the teams have similar records with them conceding the same amount of goals both home and away, but as an attacking force Ecuador have only managed to score three of their 16 goals so far on the road.
That home record suggests Uruguay will win, but to do so they need to score goals and recently Giorgian De Arrascaeta has been the man for that job, with three in the last two games.
He’s taken up the slack with no Luis Suarez or Edinson Cavani, which also means he is on the penalties which could be a big bonus as there were two in Uruguay’s last game and they had two themselves in their last meeting with Ecuador.
De Arrascaeta is the man Uruguay look to, and at 3.412/5 to score anytime he’s decent value for the man you have to side with in the scoring stakes.