Reinaldo Rueda has announced his starting 11 for tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
In defence Rueda has opted for the inexperienced trio of Gabriel Achilier, Jorge Guagua and Jayro Campos who have only 17 caps between them. In addition to this the goalkeeper, Alexander Domínguez also has only 2 international caps. The coach will be hoping that veteran Walter Ayovi is calming influence in the expected barrages of attack.
Ecuador’s real strength is in midfield and the creative influence and pace of Antonio Valencia and Christian Noboa, both of which have had impressive seasons in Europe.
Goal scoring opportunities may be at a premium in the La Bombonera but luckily Ecuador have striker who is on fire at present. Christain “Chuco”Benitez has been a prolific goal scorer in Mexico’s Primera División for the past few years. Birmingham fans may not share this opinion but a tally of 73 goals 126 matches, in a competitive league holds up to scrutiny.
Alexander Domínguez (LDU Quito)
Jairo Campos (Barcelona/Ecua) Jorge Guagua (Atlante/MX)
Gabriel Achilier (Emelec) Walter Ayoví (Monterrey)
Segundo Alejandro Castillo (Pachuca)
Christian Noboa (Dynamo Kiev)
Luis Fernando Saritama(Deportivo Quito)
Luis Antonio Valencia (Man Utd)
Jefferson Montero (Real Betis)
Christian Benítez (Club America)
Tomorrow’s game will be Ecuador’s biggest test yet in the qualification campaign. As underdogs and facing an array of recognised superstars a draw in Buenos Aires would be considered a major triumph.
Bolivia managed to capture a 1-1 draw last November but it seems as if, with his more daring line-up Rueda expects more than to simply “park the bus”.