In 44 days, the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be hitting millions of screens across the globe. Hosts Qatar will open the festival of football with a match against Ecuador in front of thousands of home fans.
As well as securing the much needed three points, both teams will be looking to set the entertainment tone for the rest of the tournament. There will be more than enough pressure to deliver on these fronts.
This article contains some of our Qatar vs Ecuador tips and predictions for bettors who will also be looking to cash in and out from this game.
Time and date
Qatar 2022 kicks off on November 20 and ends on December 18, 2022, with the closing ceremony and the crowning of the new world champions. As is custom, the hosts, Qatar, will play the opening game of the tournament.
This match was moved up by a day due to a special request by the Qatari government to FIFA, who wanted to stage a special fireworks display to welcome the world to their land. It was initially scheduled to be held as the second game of the opening day. FIFA, however, granted their request, which also allowed them to keep the culture of hosts opening the tournament going.
The game will take place at 7 PM Qatar time (5 PM GMT) at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor. The stadium, which is the second biggest venue for the tournament, seats 63,000 and is expected to be adorned in the full culture of the hosts, who have prepared a show for the world.
About the stadium
The Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, is one of Qatar’s finest stadiums. It is a retractable roof stadium that was built specially for the World Cup.
The stadium was designed to mimic the tents that are used by the nomadic peoples of Qatar and the gulf region. The stadium also has luxurious hotels and suites for those who can afford to stay the night before the game.
FIFA, however, are looking to fill 60,000 of the 63,000 and some seats available at the stadium on the opening day. That could be a tall ask considering the zeal with which Qatar is planning the tournament and the excitement among its people.
Qatar will be looking forward to winning their first ever World Cup match, having tried and failed for decades to participate in the tournament. They will be buoyed by the home support as hosts and will come out guns blazing against the visitors, Ecuador.
The South Americans, on the other hand, will be looking to start their fourth tournament with a much needed win to be able to progress past what looks like a tough group. They have only made it past the group stages once and Qatar presents an opportunity to better their past performances.
Qatar will look to deploy their 3-5-2 formation which becomes 5-3-2 when out of possession. They are a possession-based side who also know how to break on the counter when needed. Ecuador, meanwhile, will bring their direct attacking style which focuses more on getting the ball into dangerous areas with fewer passes.
It promises to be a fast-paced game and both sides are expected to be registered on the scoresheet.
A mentality battle is on the cards for the opening match of the tournament as both teams have a lot to prove to the rest of the world.
Ecuador qualified narrowly and have struggled to score goals in their subsequent games. Their attacking prowess, however, cannot be called into question as they are adept at swarming the opponents’ area with bodies in attack.
Qatar, on the other hand, have been able to find the net twice on three different occasions since the groups were determined. This means that a match with both sides scoring is the best outcome with a draw being the odds-on favourite option among early bettors. As for safe bets, Over/Under bets are the way to go.
Bear this in mind as you study our Qatar vs Ecuador tips and predictions.
Other teams in the group
Qatar and Ecuador have Senegal and The Netherlands as their other opponents in their group.
Qatar’s path to the round of 16 starts with Ecuador, then Senegal, before they round up their group stages with The Netherlands. Ecuador face The Netherlands after Qatar and will round up their group stage outing with Senegal.
Qatar will face Senegal at the Al Thumama Stadium, Al Thumama and will be back at the Al Bayt Stadium to face The Netherlands in their final group game. Ecuador will take on both The Netherlands and Senegal at the Khalifa International Stadium, Doha.
Group A appears to be one of the most balanced groups in the upcoming tournament. Based on factors like FIFA world rankings and World Cup pedigree, however, Qatar and Ecuador appear to be underdogs here.