Ecuador v Chile: La Roja may prove too hot to handle

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GROUP C at the Copa America continues on Friday night as Ecuador take on Chile in Salvador. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) shares his betting thoughts.

Ecuador v Chile | Saturday 22nd June 2019, 00:00 | Premier Sports

These two kicked-off their Copa America campaigns in differing fashions. Ecuador were completely dominated by Uruguay – going down to 10 men didn’t help their cause but their lack of game-plan was apparent from the get-go. Chile, on the other hand, defeated inexperienced guests Japan 4-0 – a slightly flattering scoreline for La Roja given the balance of the match, they were deserved victors nevertheless.

Chilean boss Reinaldo Riera is under pressure from fans back home to deliver decent results, and although he is not expected to bring back a third successive Copa title, there will be scrutiny on every performance given their recent history in the competition.

Many members of those successful La Roja past squads are still in the frame, and many argue that they’re now over the hill and fatigued from regular summer competitions in the past decade or so. I’m not expecting Riera’s troops to go too far in the competition but they look a good bet here to me, mainly because they’re playing Ecuador.

Reasons to oppose Ecuador

La Tricolor didn’t come into this competition with much optimism – fans back home were underwhelmed by the appointment of former Colombia and Panama COACH Hernan Gomez. Gomez is thought of as a dinosaur in South America and despite being well-versed at motivating his players, he lacks any real tactical acumen.

Gomez has openly admitted that his focus is on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup and that the Copa is merely an unwanted distraction. There’s a good crop of U20s coming through the ranks in Quito but they have yet to be blooded into the first-team reckoning, which is understandable.

On the whole, you simply cannot back a side that aren’t under any pressure from the manager to do anything major, in fact they’re easily opposable. There’s raw physical qualities about this side but there’s a dearth of quality and creativity on the ball, as well as a meagre defence.

What’s more, Los Amarillos have a poor record away from home. Much like Bolivia, they have an outstanding advantage when playing on native soil due to the extreme altitude of their Quito base. On the road they have lost six in a row against the ‘big five' if you will: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile. They’ve only posted two victories in their last 19 away games, and one of those was against Panama.

Chile to prove too hot

Despite having an ageing squad, Chile have the superior players to Ecuador and always take this competition seriously – the same can't be said for their opponents.

It’s important that there isn’t an overreaction to that Japan victory – the Blue Samurai had some good chances and La Roja were a tad lucky to keep their sheets clean – but they’ve been on the drift and at 10/11 (Betway) I think that’s a fair – and ultimately backable – price on the pre-match favourites.

Best Bets

Ecuador v Chile – Chile to win (10/11 Betway)

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