Ecuador vs Italy Preview

Ecuador vs Italy

Competition – International Friendly

Stadium: Red Bull Arena

Date: 24th March 2024

Kick-off time – 20:00 GMT

Current European Championship holders Italy will continue preparing to defend their crown in June when they face Ecuador in New Jersey, United States on Sunday. Both sides are meeting for the first time in nearly two decades and this game is expected to be a spectacle.

After a calamitous ending under former boss Roberto Mancini, the Azzurri have found their feet under Luciano Spalletti.  The former Napoli boss has overseen an unbeaten record (W5, D2) as pre-match favourites for Italy since the start of 2023. He will hope his side will continue that good form in this game and respond to his public demand for more “strength and physical impact against Ecuador”.

Meanwhile, Ecuador will play their second game in a week in the United States where they will play the Copa America in June. The South American side are part of the contingent that will participate in the Copa America and their preparation has been in top gear.

Ecuador now has an impressive seven wins from 11 games since the start of 2023 (D2, L2) losing only away to Argentina and Australia. They are also unbeaten in their last six games keeping clean sheets in their last four.

Their manager, Félix Sánchez, has identified this particular match as one the team must “take advantage of” as an important learning opportunity ahead of the Copa América. As far as causing an upset goes, they last won as an underdog back in 2021 (2-0 away to Chile) but can be inspired by more recent draws against Venezuela, Mexico, Japan and the Netherlands.

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