Preview: Switzerland vs Ecuador
The 2014 FIFA World Cup Group E game between Switzerland and Ecuador kicks off at 16:00GMT on Sunday, 15 June 2014.
The first game between Switzerland and Ecuador will see two notoriously compact teams taking to the field to battle for a place in the round of 16 with their other competitors being France and Honduras.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup has already pulled a few surprises and getting on the right foot in the first game between these two in the group could set up a fine quest.
Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has a fully fit squad to make his selections while Ecuador’s Osvaldo Minda is unlikely to start the game after replacing experienced midfielder Segundo Castillo who was ruled out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament with a knee injury on Monday.
Antonio Valencia’s red card in the friendly against England doesn’t count for the competition and the Manchester United man will be available for selection.
Switzerland are a national team who know their way around the FIFA World Cup tournament despite their best ever round in the competition being the quarter-finals stage.
In the group stages, the Schweizer Nati, La Nati or Squadra nazionale – depending on how you want to call them whether you are German, French or Italian respectively- are as deadly team one could ever play in the tournament.
Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side have an impeccably tight backline that have them currently with the FIFA World Cup record of consecutive minutes without conceding a goal.
Switzerland began that record in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany where they set a record by being the first team to be eliminated from the competition despite not conceding a goal. They ended their stay in the 2006 competition on penalty shootout against Ukraine in the round of 16 where they failed to score single penalty – another record in the FIFA World Cup.
Ottmar Hitzfeld and his side are on a good run of form as they were unbeaten in the qualification to the World Cup winning seven and drawing three of their ten games.
Ecuador are a team of a good defense also and this game could have a high probability of a stalemate despite Reinaldo Rueda’s side not drawing a FIFA World Cup game before. La Tri have won three and lost four so far.
Ecuador have won all three games they kept a clean sheet in a FIFA World Cup and have lost all four they have conceded in.
Ecuador bettered Uruguay in the qualification process beating Luiz Suarez and co on goal difference to qualify straight without play-offs alongside Argentina, Columbia and Chile.
Antonio Valencia of Manchester United and captain of the Ecuador team could be the man orchestrate the attack down the right flanks for his side in their quest for glory in Brazil.
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