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Feb 2, 2022 at 2am UK
Flores (69')
Garcia (34'), Aurelio Carvallo Alonso (45+5'), Advincula (51')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Estrada (2')
Franco (28'), Caicedo (38'), Plata (63')

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

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

Seeking to make it four wins on the bounce in FIFA World Cup 2022 CONMEBOL Qualifying, Peru prepare to lock horns with fellow Qatar hopefuls Ecuador on Tuesday.

Ricardo Gareca's men came up trumps in a 1-0 success over Colombia last time out, while their upcoming visitors held Brazil in an incident-packed 1-1 draw.

Match preview

Not since 1982 have Peru managed to book their place at successive World Cup finals, but with Ricardo Gareca's side kicking their qualification campaign up a notch in recent times, this week's hosts could form part of the elite South American contingent in Qatar.

Following successive wins over Bolivia and Venezuela in November, Peru faced a daunting trip to Barranquilla to take on Colombia earlier this week, but Gareca's side held their own and took maximum points back home thanks to substitute Edison Flores's 85th-minute effort.

Having now won three consecutive matches in FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifying, Peru have suddenly stormed into the fourth and final qualification spot with 20 points to their name from 15 matches, but Uruguay are just one point behind in the inter-confederation playoff place.

Gareca's side now enter the Ecuador test with four wins and a draw to boast from their last five in all tournaments, and familiar territory has certainly been kind to the 2018 group-stage finishers in recent memory.

Indeed, Peru have won each of their last three World Cup Qualifying games on home turf without conceding a single goal and are unbeaten in six on their own territory in all competitions, and the world's 22nd-ranked nation need no second invitation to ramp up the pressure on their opponents here.

Alisson Becker has seen his fair share of Premier League VAR controversy during his time at Liverpool, but the Brazilian shot-stopper would have been thanking his lucky stars that those operating in the technology booth saved his bacon against Ecuador.

On a day where Emerson Royal and Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez were forced to take the walk of shame, Alisson saw two red cards overturned by VAR, but the Selecao were still held as Casemiro's early opener was cancelled out by Felix Torres's header 15 minutes from time.

After making it four World Cup 2022 Qualifying games unbeaten, Ecuador remain in pole position to finish as the best of the rest behind Argentina and Brazil - currently third in the standings with 24 points to their name - four clear of their upcoming opponents.

Gustavo Alfaro's side have not booked their plane tickets to Qatar just yet, but victory at the Estadio Nacional will make it impossible for Ecuador to finish lower than fifth and at least advance to the playoff stage, and an appearance at a fourth World Cup finals since the turn of the millennium is firmly in their grasp.

Only two of Ecuador's seven World Cup 2022 Qualifying wins have come away from home, though, and La Tri fell to a 2-1 defeat against Peru when the sides met for the first time in Qualifying back in June.

Peru World Cup Qualifying - South America form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

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

Ecuador World Cup Qualifying - South America form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

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

Team News

Peru will be forced into a double alteration for this contest due to suspension, as Aldo Corzo and Christian Cueva - who assisted Flores's winner - picked up their second bookings of Qualifying in the win over Colombia.

Goalscorer Flores is a simple alteration for Cueva on the left flank, while the returning Luis Advincula ought to take advantage of Corzo's absence at right-back as Miguel Trauco also comes back from a ban of his own.

Pedro Aquino will reportedly need surgery on the foot fracture which forced him to pull out of the squad for this round of fixtures, and Sergio Pena's place could be at risk after he was hooked at half time in the win over Colombia.

Meanwhile, Ecuador veterans Dominguez and Enner Valencia - who picked up his fourth booking of Qualifying in the draw with Brazil - will not be involved for their side due to suspensions of their own.

Hernan Galindez should return in between the sticks for the visitors with Dominguez out, and Ayrton Preciado is the most likely candidate to deputise for captain Valencia in the final third.

Alan Franco was the unlucky one to be hooked in the first half after Ecuador went down to 10 men against Brazil, but the Charlotte midfielder will expect to be handed another chance here.

Peru possible starting lineup:
Gallese; Advincula, Zambrano, Callens, Trauco; Tapia; Carrillo, Yotun, Gonzales, Flores; Lapadula

Ecuador possible starting lineup:
Galindez; An. Preciado, Torres, Hincapie, Estupinan; Caicedo, Gruezo, Franco; Plata, Estrada, Ay. Preciado

We say: Peru 1-1 Ecuador

Victory for Peru would certainly throw the cat amongst the pigeons with regards to the battle for third spot, but Ecuador cannot be caught no matter what transpires this week and will simply want to avoid another defeat away from home.

Such circumstances may lead to a move conservative approach from the visitors - especially in the absence of talisman Valencia - so we can envisage both sides cancelling each other out in this top-four battle.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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