Four long, eventful years after France won it all in Russia, the Qatar 2022 World Cup kicks off Sunday. The first match of the tournament pits the tournament’s host country, Qatar, against Ecuador in Group A.
Playing in November instead of the usual summertime routine to combat the brutal Middle East heat, Qatar looks to get off to a fast start in their World Cup debut. In our look at Qatar vs. Ecuador odds, props, and predictions, we’ll see which country is in line to secure the first points of 2022 World Cup group play.
Best Qatar vs. Ecuador Odds: Moneyline and Total
Here are betting lines from top US sportsbooks on the opening match of the World Cup, as of Thursday, Nov. 17. Odds are bound to change before kickoff, and it’s always advised to shop around various sports betting apps to find the best bonuses and prices for your wagers.
Also, these odds reflect the prices for both sides on the three-way line, where a bet on either team is a loss in the event of a draw. BetMGM and PointsBet are both dealing +210 on a draw as of Thursday.
SOCCER · Sun (11/20) @ 11:00 am ET
|Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, QA|
The Qatar vs. Ecuador odds list Ecuador as a slight favorite to win this first matchup. The local crowd may give Qatar an edge, although a draw has shorter odds than a straight-up victory for Qatar.
Like most of the matchups in World Cup group play, the Qatar vs. Ecuador total is set at 2.5. Oddsmakers are pointing toward a low-scoring affair, however, with the Over at plus-money ahead of the game at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
Qatar vs. Ecuador: World Cup History
As the host nation, Qatar automatically makes the tournament and didn’t need to earn a spot through the qualifying matches. Sunday will be their first-ever World Cup match, making their debut on the global stage.
Ecuador made its first World Cup in 2002 and has competed in three tournaments since but failed to qualify for Russia in 2018. Their best performance came in the 2006 event in Germany, where Ecuador was eliminated by England in the Round of 16.
Although there’s no Qatar vs. Ecuador World Cup history, they’ve played three international friendlies against each other. Qatar won the most recent matchup, a 4-3 frenzy of goals in 2018.
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Qatar Roster, Injuries, and Betting News
Qatar is the reigning Asian Cup Champion, blowing through their Asian qualifying matches with seven wins to one draw. However, the team has lost six straight matches to World Cup-bound squads. The host team still enters the tournament on a good note, winning four of their last five international friendlies.
● Qatar 1 – 0 Albania
● Qatar 2 – 1 Panama
● Qatar 1 – 0 Honduras
● Qatar 2 – 1 Guatemala
● Qatar 2 – 2 Chile
Although this will be Qatar’s first World Cup competition, coach Félix Sánchez leads an experienced team that has been preparing for this moment for years. 26-year-old Almoez Ali is the team’s best goalscorer and leads a formidable front two alongside Akram Afif.
Saad Al Sheeb will be the man in goal for Qatar, and the 32-year-old was a key piece to Qatar’s Asian Cup success. Solid performances in the 2019 Copa America against Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay showed that Al Sheeb can hold his own against top-level scorers.
There aren’t many Qatar injuries to be concerned about going into the World Cup. The only notable injured player, midfielder Abdulla Ah-Ahrak, has been off the pitch since August with an ACL injury.
● Abdullah Al-Ahrak (OUT – ACL)
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Ecuador Roster, Injuries, and Betting News
Ecuador carries some momentum into Qatar with an impressive performance in the World Cup qualifiers. They posted five home wins and impressive draws against Brazil and Argentina. In friendlies leading up to the World Cup, however, they’ve been relatively quiet.
● Ecuador 0 – 0 Iraq
● Ecuador 0 – 0 Japan
● Ecuador 0 – 0 Saudi Arabia
● Ecuador 1 – 0 Cabo Verde
● Ecuador 0 – 0 Mexico
Gustavo Alfaro took charge of the Ecuadorian team in 2020 and revamped the entire roster. Previously the coach of Buenos Aires super club Boca Juniors, the Ecuador roster is among the youngest in the World Cup.
Goals have been difficult to come by for La Tri, and the hope is that 33-year-old veteran Enner Valencia can keep the pressure on the Qatar defense. The team’s captain, who plays for Turkish club Fenerbahçe, has scored 35 goals in 74 caps.
Moisés Caicedo headlines the youth movement for Ecuador. The 20-year-old midfielder appeared in 19 games with Brighton and Hove Albion of the Premier League. Another 20-year-old looking to contribute is Piero Hincapié, who’s building a name for himself with Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga.
Ecuador was nearly disqualified from the tournament because of controversy surrounding defender Byron Castillo’s birthplace. The claim against Ecuador, made by Chile and Peru, was ultimately thrown out allowing Ecuador to compete. The team will, however, have three points deducted when it comes to the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
Amid the controversy, Ecuador decided to leave Castillo off their final roster. Kevin Rodríguez was called up in his stead.
The Ecuador team enters the tournament with a couple of injuries, including Joao Rojas who has been sidelined since July due to an ACL tear. Center Back Robert Arboleda fractured his ankle in June but was ultimately included on the final 26-man roster.
● Robert Arboleda (Ankle)
● Ayrton Preciado (Leg)
● Joao Rojas (OUT – ACL)
Qatar vs. Ecuador Props
Here is a small sampling of prop offered by FanDuel on Qatar vs. Ecuador.
Almoez Ali +220
Enner Valencia +220
Ahmed Alaa Eldin +280
Michael Estrada +350
Qatar 1-0 +700
Qatar 2-0 +1500
Qatar 2-1 +1200
Ecuador 1-0 +550
Ecuador 2-0 +1000
Total goal props:
Over 0.5 goals -950, Under 0.5 goals +610
Over 1.5 goals -198, Under 1.5 goals +160
Over 2.5 goals +160, Under 2.5 goals -198
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Qatar vs. Ecuador Broadcast Info: Where to Watch
• Sunday, Nov. 20, 11 a.m. ET
• Al Bayt Stadium
• Fox Sports 1
• Fox Sports App
Qatar vs. Ecuador Prediction: Ecuador Wins 1-0
Ecuador boasts the more talented roster entering the tournament and should control the time of possession. Anyone expecting a high-octane performance for the first match may leave disappointed.
Although Under 2.5 is likely to hit, the juice is too high for the risk.
Gustavo Alfaro’s team will do just enough to spoil Qatar’s debut, leading Ecuador to a 1-0 win to start off the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
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