Uruguay kick-start their Copa América bid against Ecuador. La Celeste are ranked third favourites to emerge victorious behind hosts Brazil and Argentina, and should advance to the next round alongside current holders Chile, provided they see off the threat of La Tri in their opening match.
Where and when: Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte – 16 June, kick-off 23:00
Where you can see Uruguay vs. Ecuador: Premier Sports 1
Last time: Sebastián Coates opened the scoring when the nations met in 2016 but the defender’s effort was cancelled out by striker Felipe Caicedo on the stroke of half-time. Diego Rolan got the winner for Uruguay after the break.
|Under 0.5 goals||11/2||Offer|
|Both teams to score in the first-half||22/0||Offer|
|Uruguay to win 2-0||6/1||Offer|
Uruguay vs. Ecuador Predictions and Preview
Uruguay’s preparations for this summer’s showpiece event in Brazil concluded with a comfortable 3-0 win against Panama. La Celeste lined-up with a core group of players who have featured in Serie A, with Martin Caceres, Diego Laxalt, new Inter signing Diego Godin and ex-Lazio stopper Fernando Muslera marshalling the rearguard.
Atletico Madrid’s tenacious defender Jose Gimenez took his place at the heart of defence alongside Godin and there are few central-defensive pairings better in world football.
In midfield, Rodrigo Bentancur, Matias Vecino and Lucas Torreira will battle it out for the two pivot roles, further highlighting the depth at Oscar Tabarez’ disposal. The star names need little introduction, with Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez joining forces in Uruguay’s quest for glory.
Both won the title in the respective divisions, notching a combined tally of 48 goals across the 2018-19 club campaign. The duo will be ably supported by Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez, who hit 13 goals for the Spanish outfit and could be a decisive weapon from the bench. Gomez is 10/3 to net the final goal of the duel. Meanwhile, Suarez is 3/1 to score first and Cavani is 8/2. La Celeste are 7/10 to claim all three points on the night.
Elsewhere, Ecuador only have two men with double figures in the squad, veteran Antonio Valencia, and Enner Valencia, who will take his place in attack. The former West Ham United ace is a handful on his day and is is 9/2 to strike anytime, while Ecuador are 4/1 to pull off an upset. The draw is 12/5.
One to watch for Uruguay: Godin will go up for set pieces and is an attractive 22/1 to open proceedings.
One to watch for Ecuador: Romario Ibarra averages a goal every three appearances for his country and will be encouraged to support Valencia. The pacy winger is 17/2 to bag the final goal of the contest.
Long shot: Ecuador have only kept one clean sheet from their last ten games and it won’t get any easier when they come up against Suarez, Cavani and company. If La Celeste register early, it could get ugly and a 4-0 triumph for the much fancied Uruguayans can be found at 33/1.