Prediction and odds for the game: Qatar (23/10) vs Ecuador (11/8)
We are backing the draw at odds of 21/10
When: Sunday, 20 November 2022, Kick-off at 16:00
Where: The Al Bayt Stadium
On Sunday afternoon, the 2022 World Cup kicks off as hosts Qatar face Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor in Group A of the competition.
The hosts will be making history on Sunday, as they will appear at their first World Cup finals. The tournament itself is already history-making, as it is the first World Cup to take place during the winter rather than the summer.
Qatar has a decent record going into this opening game, as they are undefeated in five international games, claiming four consecutive victories. All four of the victories have come in non-FIFA recognised friendly games, and all have been on home soil.
Qatar’s main strength of late in the international game has been keeping clean sheets, as they have conceded just one goal in their last four outings. They will need that defensive solidity if they are to have any chance of making it out of their group.
They will look to star forward Almoez Ali for attacking inspiration, as the 26-year-old is Qatar’s joint-record goalscorer with 42 goals in 81 appearances.
The South American nation will be participating in the World Cup for the fourth time in Qatar as they look to better their previous biggest achievement of making it to the last 16, which came in Germany in 2006.
In truth, Ecuador has a poor record at World Cups, as they have recorded a combined total of just four wins from their ten games. The last time Ecuador featured at a World Cup was back in 2014 in Brazil when they failed to get out of their group, having taken just three points from as many games.
Ecuador will fancy their chances of making a winning start to their current campaign, though, as the South Americans have been tough to beat of late. In fact, they are undefeated in their last seven international games, although five of those games have finished all square.
Like their hosts, Ecuador has been difficult to score against in recent games, as they have not conceded in any of their last six international matches. Conversely, Ecuador has also failed to find the net in four of their previous five games.
The opening game of most tournaments tends to be slightly cagey as teams look to find their feet. This game is unlikely to be any different. We are backing the game to produce a draw and backing under 2.5 goals scored.
Our Tips: We are backing the draw at odds of 21/10 and/or under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 1/2 (All odds are taken from Bet365)[geosnippet id=3620]
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Who will come out on top in this World Cup opener?