Our football match prediction:
Ecuador will be looking to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to Uruguay when they face Venezuela in yet another World Cup qualifying match. La Tri were beaten by La Celeste at Estadio Centenario, but it has to be noted that coach Gustavo Quinteros couldn’t count on five first-team regulars for the Uruguay game. However, the likes of Enner Valencia, Luis Alberto Caicedo, Cristian Ramirez and Arturo Mina all return from suspension and we predict that the hosts will pick up all three points from Tuesday’s match against Venezuela. Ecuador impressed in a 3-0 win over Chile in their last home game in the World Cup qualifiers and seeing that los Criollos struggler on the travels, away win should not be considered this time out. Venezuela did defeat Bolivia on Friday, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry in Tuesday’s game against Ecuador, who aim to secure automatic qualification for the World Cup finals.
Highligted Player (Antonio Valencia):
Antonio Valencia is a versatile right winger who plays for English Premier League club Manchester United. The 30-year-old is often deployed as a right-back too, both at the club and international level. Valencia was a first team regular at El Nacional after rising swiftly through the youth ranks. He would then move to Spanish side Villarreal whose time at the club was spent on loans to Recreativo and Wigan Athletic. After impressing for them on loan, Wigan Athletic signed Valencia permanently in 2008. His performance for them soon attracted interest from several high profile clubs and Valencia eventually signed for Manchester United. He was touted as a replacement to Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford and would go on to win many titles with them. Valencia made his national debut in 2005 and represented in two FIFA World Cups and as many Copa America. He has won 80 caps for his nation and scored eight goals so far.
Highlighted Team (Venezuela):
The Venezuela national team is the member of South American CONMEBOL confederation competing at the international stage since 1938, at the same time fighting for glory and popularity in the country where baseball diverts all of the attention from the sport. With increased popularity of the FIFA World Cup the country found enough motivation and incentive to increase player development and fan support in order to strengthen the cult of the national football team. However, South American minnows Venezuela have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and as of 2014 they remain the only CONMEBOL member not to achieve this feat. La Vinotinto have however appeared in 15 Copa America tournament with their first entry coming in 1967. Their best result was the fourth-place finish in 2011 and under the new leadership of Rafael Dudamet, Venezuela are looking for an upset at Copa America Centenario. The most prominent player of the Venezuela national team is New York Cosmos midfielder Juan Arango who is the team’s top scorer and the player with most caps.