Ecuador vs. England: Latest Form Guide and Early Predictions

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2014

England's Phil Jagielka, center, celebrates his goal with Adam Lallana, left, and Gary Cahill during the international friendly soccer match between England and Peru at Wembley Stadium in London, Friday, May 30, 2014.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

England will be hoping to build up some momentum before the start of the 2014 World Cup when they take on fellow qualifiers Ecuador in Miami on Wednesday. 

After a solid but uninspiring 3-0 victory over Peru at Wembley on Friday, Roy Hodgson will be looking for a strong display at the Sun Life Stadium as preparations continue ahead of the summer's showpiece event. 

Ecuador should pose a greater challenge than Peru did, and will themselves be anxious to put in a good performance in their last competitive fixture before the start of their Group E World Cup campaign.

Hodgson has already confirmed the starting places of both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones for Wednesday's game; the pair missed the Peru clash through injury, per BBC Sport:

"They will both play from the start," said Hodgson. "They could have both played against Peru, but we thought an extra day's training would do them more good than being on the bench."

The 66-year-old manager's experimentation will continue in the Miami heat—17 players were used in the Peru game—as he attempts to work out his best team to take to the field for England's World Cup opener against Italy in Manaus on June 14. 

Form Guide

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Matt Dunham/Associated Press

England come into this friendly on the back of their win over Peru, which saw goals from Daniel Sturridge and centre-backs Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka.

Though a convincing-sounding scoreline, the 3-0 win was not without problems, with Peru threatening Joe Hart's goal on several occasions.

Before Friday, England's last game was a 1-0 friendly win over Denmark in March which followed losses to Germany and Chile at the end of 2013.  

England's final four World Cup qualifying games in Autumn 2013 saw them pick up three wins and a draw to top their group by one point to Ukraine. 

Ecuador are in quite a poor run of form, most recently losing 3-1 to Mexico in Texas on Saturday as they prepared for their World Cup group games against France, Switzerland and Honduras.

This loss means that they have won only two matches in their last 13 outings, per ESPN FC. However, one of those victories was a key 1-0 win over England's Group D opponents Uruguay, which guaranteed La Tri's spot in the World Cup.

Ecuador scraped the fourth and final Conmebol automatic qualification spot behind Argentina, Colombia and Chile, pipping Uruguay on goal difference. 

Early Predictions

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 30:  Raheem Sterling of England replaces Wayne Rooney of England during the international friendly match between England and Peru at Wembley Stadium on May 30, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

The most recent meeting between these two sides was in the first knockout round of the 2006 World Cup when England stuttered to a 1-0 victory courtesy of a David Beckham free kick.

Hopefully Wednesday's game will not be a repeat of that encounter, which was not a particularly fine display of football.

World rankings suggest that England should prevail at the home of the Miami Dolphins; Hodgson's side are currently 11th in the world ,while Ecuador are 28th, per FIFA.

However, there is a raft of other factors which could decide the outcome of the match, not least the fact that the preparative nature of the game will see two very changeable sides.

Speculation is rife that England's star man Wayne Rooney will be dropped to the bench for the game, with Hodgson eager to try a team without the Manchester United striker, per Dean Jones in the Sunday Mirror.

While this is no bad thing, Rooney will likely take his place in the starting line-up for England's opener against Italy. 

England should be confident after winning well against Peru despite a less-than-vintage display. With England having spent more time training together as a unit, expect a better organised, slicker squad against Ecuador.

Ecuador are in poor form, and England's quality should show through in a victory by a margin of at least two goals.

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