Date: 20 November 2022
Time: 09:30 PM IST
Venue: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar
Live Commentary: SportsTiger App
After a wait of four years, the FIFA World Cup returns this time around in Qatar where the hosts will kick off the tournament as they face Ecuador on November 20. The Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor will host the opening game. Both teams aren’t favourites to exit Group A but would want to ruffle some feathers with a dominant performance in the first game.
Ahead of the World Cup, the host nation is dealing with one major injury issue as they will miss the services of Abdullah Al-Ahrak. The attacking midfielder suffered an ACL tear in January and has not yet returned to his club Al-Duhail. The 25-year-old has played for Qatar seven times and was a regular in the squad before his injury.
For the La Tri, they will be missing out on three players from each department. Experienced centre-back Roberto Arbeloda has been out of action since June 2022 because of a fractured ankle. Similarly, forward Ayrton Preciado was out because of a leg injury and doesn’t have enough match fitness for the World Cup. Winger Joao Rojas has been ruled out of the tournament after suffering an ACL tear in July.
World Cup has always been extremely lucky for the host nation but this streak could end for Qatar as they could be at the bottom of their group. Under Félix Sánchez Bas, the Al-Annabi has been trying to implicate a Spanish Tiki-Taka-based footballing style with quality ball movement. Defensively, they set up a solid mid-block but while pressing they often get caught up and concede goals.
The La Tri are the youngest team to qualify from South America after finishing fourth in that section. They defend to play a balanced game with an exciting attack and solid defense. Offensively they depend on their full-backs and fast wingers who have been their strength. Defensively they opt for a low block and always keep at least one player up and regularly counter-attack via through ball carries and forward passes into the advanced player(s).
Head to Head:
Qatar and Ecuador have faced each other once and where the Al-Annabi emerged victorious with a 4-3 win at home in 2018.
Probable Starting XIs:
Saad Al-Sheeb (GK), Pedro Miguel, Tarek Salman, Bassam Al Rawi, Abdelkarim Hassan, Ahmed Alaa, Mohammed Waad, Abdulaziz Hatim, Karim Boudiaf, Akram Afif, Almoez Ali.
Alexander Dominguez (GK), Byron Castillo, Jackson Porozo, Piero Hincapie, Pervis Estupinan, Alan Franco, Carlos Gruezo, Moises Caicedo, Gonzalo Plata, Enner Valencia, Romario Ibarra.
Grand League Fantasy Team:
Head-to-head Fantasy Team:
Goalkeepers: Saad Al-Sheeb, Alexander Dominguez
Defenders: Piero Hincapie, Pervis Estupinan, Pedro Miguel, Tarek Salman,
Midfielders: Moises Caicedo, Gonzalo Plata, Mohammed Waad, Abdulaziz Hatim
Strikers: Akram Afif, Almoez Ali, Enner Valencia, Romario Ibarra
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