Reason For Betting Tips
Bolivia’s trip to Brazil ended predictably badly for a side who historically struggle away from the confines of Las Paz. They lost 5-0 to the talented Brazil, with four first half goals from Neymar, Phillipe Coutinho, Filipe Luis, and Gabriel Jesus settling the tie before the break.
This saw Bolivia drop to 9th in their qualification table as Peru earned a draw against Argentina, and the hosts are now a significant nine points adrift of the World Cup qualification zone and in pretty poor form.
Prior to this defeat in Brazil they had managed a draw in Chile and a 2-0 win over Peru, but before that they had lost seven matches on the bounce. The problem for Bolivia is that the high altitude environment of Las Paz has lost it’s fear factor. They managed to very good results at home a few years ago, but with advanced training methods the visiting opposition are having less trouble dealing with the reduced air intake. Bolivia have won just three of their last 11 home games, losing five of them.
Ecuador’s main story of the week was the bizarre situation that saw striker Enner Valencia feign injury and get stretchered off the pitch, oxygen and all, in order to avoid the police. He was chased by the authorities as they looked to question him over unpaid child support, so it’s unclear at the moment whether he is fit or will be allowed to play in Bolivia.
Much was made of this ridiculous situation, and as such Ecuador’s impressive 3-0 win over double Copa America champions Chile went somewhat under the radar. Enner’s namesake Antonio grabbed the opener inside of 20 minutes and Ecuador doubled their lead four minutes later to give Chile a real job to do. A third goal followed shortly after the break to settle the tie.
This pushed Ecuador up to 3rd in the qualification table, and they are now just three points behind leaders Uruguay. They are only ahead the playoff spot on goal difference, but after that it’s a four point gap between them and 7th placed Paraguay.
Ecuador’s victory against Chile was only their second of the last ten outings in all competitions, and the other of those was in the Copa America. Despite their excellent start to the World Cup qualifying campaign they have struggled recently. Away from home they have lost three on the bounce as well, although before that they had managed to beat Argentina and Venezuela on the road.
Bolivia may not be in the best of form at home, but they do still have the advantage of their high altitude environment and they’re facing a side who have struggled on the road recently. They’ve avoided defeat in 11 of their last 16 in Las Paz as well, so backing a Bolivia Win or Draw Double Chance at 4/5 looks good value to me. I’m going for a 1-1 correct score prediction at 11/2 as well.
Head To Head
Ecuador have won ten, drawn one, and lost one of their 12 meetings with Bolivia, although their only defeat did come last summer in Copa America.
Bolivia have avoided defeat in 69% of their last 16 home games, whilst Ecuador have only won 20% of their last ten on the road.
Goalkeeper Carlos Lampe, who has just nine international caps, will captain Bolivia. Defender Ronald Raldes is the most experienced of the group with 90 caps, whilst striker Marcelo Martins Moreno has 14 goals to his name, making him the top scorer in the squad. Youngsters Jorge Eduardo Lovera and Carlos Rebledo are hoping to make their debuts. Leonardo Vaca came on as a substitute for his debut in Bolivia's 5-0 thrashing in Brazil.
Key player Antonio Valencia proved his worth with a goal last week, whilst Espanyol striker Felipe Caicedo will be hoping to add to his 20 international goals as well after netting one against Chile. Midfielder Jefferson Orejuela and defender Luis Caicedo made their debuts against Chile, but midfielder Matias Oyola and defensive trio Dario Almar, Jose Quinteros, and Pedro Velasco are hoping to be given some game time. 21 year old FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo is one to watch as well, with the youngster already having 18 caps to his name. Enner Valencia's status is a bit of a mystery, with the striker reportedly feigning an injury and being stretchered off whilst being given oxygen against Chile as the police chased him over some unpaid child support. Whether he is fit, or indeed allowed, to play is unknown at the moment.