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Jun 23, 2021 at 10pm UK
Tapia (23' og.), Preciado (45+3')
Hincapie (57')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Lapadula (49'), Carrillo (54')
Ramos (88')

Preview: Ecuador vs. Peru - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Ecuador vs. Peru - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Copa America clash between Ecuador and Peru, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

In a crucial battle in the Copa America group stage, Ecuador and Peru square off in Goania on Thursday, with a quarter-final spot potentially on the line.

With Brazil and Colombia leading the group as things stand, there are two qualification spots available for Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador to battle for, and these two sides will each play their penultimate game of the group stage as they battle to go into pole position to seal one of those spots.

Match preview

Ecuador had a disappointing start to the Copa America campaign, as they were narrowly defeated by Colombia on the opening day.

Despite being the better side for the majority of game and having chances to find the net, they were ultimately unable to bounce back after Edwin Cardona put Colombia ahead on the stroke of half time, falling to the bottom of the group as a result.

They were then held to a somewhat disappointing 2-2 draw in their last outing, as they took on Venezuela, the other side in intense competition for qualification spots.

Gustavo Alfaro's men took the lead on two separate occasions through Ayrton Preciado and Gonzalo Plata, but Edson Castillo levelled the game at 1-1 early in the second half before Ronald Hernandez snatched a point for Venezuela with a 91st-minute equaliser, keeping them one point above Ecuador.

La Tricolor now have plenty of work to do if they are to make it to the quarter-finals, although they do remain just one point behind Venezuela and two points behind Peru, meaning a win on Wednesday would see them not only leapfrog their opponents, but also temporarily move into third place going into the final gameweek.

Peru will look to ensure that does not happen, as they come in on a high following an impressive win over Colombia in their last group game.

Sergio Pena opened the scoring early in that game, given them a lead throughout, but a Miguel Borja equaliser from the penalty spot on the hour mark appeared to turn the momentum, with Colombia looking to go on and win the game from there.

However, it was Peru who would retake the lead 10 minutes later, as Yerry Mina scored an own goal, and they held on for a crucial win in Goiania.

They were Peru's first points of the tournament, having suffered a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of host nation Brazil in their opening game.

In that match, Alex Sandro opened the scoring inside the first 15 minutes, before Neymar doubled the lead in the 70th minute and Everton Ribeiro and Richarlison netted goals in the dying minutes to make the game seem slightly more one-sided than it was on reflection.

Having quickly bounced back from that crushing defeat, Ricardo Gareca will be proud of his side's resilience as they went into pole position to secure one of the top four spots, and they can book their place in the quarter-finals with a win on Wednesday.

Ecuador Copa America form:
  • L
  • D

Ecuador form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Peru Copa America form:
  • L
  • W

Peru form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Ecuador will be without talisman Enner Valencia, who will serve a one-game suspension for picking up two yellow cards in their first two group games.

After earning himself a starting spot for the first game of the Copa America with a goal in the World Cup Qualifiers, Ecuador winger Gonzalo Plata was dropped back to the bench for the Venezuela clash, but he should make an instant return to the side after restoring their lead in his brief substitute appearance.

He should come in on the left-hand side for Angel Mena, with the first scorer Ayrton Preciado operating on the other flank.

In the middle, 19-year-old Brighton & Hove Albion prospect Moises Caicedo has shown promise on the international stage with some strong performances alongside Jhegson Mendez, and the pair will partner up again on Wednesday.

Peru are expected to deploy an unchanged XI after their impressive victory over Colombia last time out.

That should see Gianluca Lapadula lead the line with the support of goalscorer Sergio Pena, Andre Carrillo and experienced winger Christian Cueva.

Meanwhile, Yoshimar Yotun and Renato Tapia will continue to sit in front of the back four, having been impressive so far at the tournament.

Ecuador possible starting lineup:
Ortiz; Angelo Preciado, Arboleda, Hincapie, Estupinan; Plata, Caicedo, Mendez, Ayrton Preciado; Campana, Martinez

Peru possible starting lineup:
Gallese; Corzo, Ramos, Callens, Lopez; Tapia, Yotun; Carrillo, Pena, Cueva; Lapadula

We say: Ecuador 0-2 Peru

Coming in on the back of an impressive victory, we see Peru having enough to get past Ecuador on Wednesday, especially given the Tricolor will be playing without their main forward.

Los Incas bounced back well from the opening defeat, and they will be desperate to record a second win to confirm their qualification for the final eight.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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