Netherlands can end two-game goal drought against Ecuador

The Netherlands have met Ecuador once before, and beat their fellow 2014 World Cup finalists on that occasion with a Dirk Kuyt goal. Coral go 11/2 on a 1-0 victory for the Clockwork Orange again here.

Louis van Gaal may hand senior debuts to PSV Eindhoven stopper Jeroen Zoet, and Feyenoord pair Terence Kongolo at the back and Tonny de Trindade Vilhena in midfield. National captain and the Dutch’s record scorer Robin van Persie is expected to play some part as he builds up fitness ahead of the tournament in Brazil.

His opposite number for Ecuador is Manchester United teammate Antonio Valencia, who is in search of a first international goal for almost a year. The Netherlands are 31/20 to get another win to nil over this South American opposition, while it’s 3/1 on a draw and the hosts winning in the half-time/full-time market.

The same price is available on total goals in this match being under 1.5. With Van Gaal placing so much faith in youth at the back and in midfield, it may take the emerging Dutch talents time to bed in as senior internationals, so if punters adopt a similarly patient attitude there could easily be rewards to reap.

If a Clockwork Orange player can emulate Kuyt and net the opener just after half time, then odds of 7/1 on the first goal coming in the 41-50 minutes bracket are available. A Dutch clean sheet, meanwhile, is 6/5.

Van Gaal does come into this encounter without a win in three friendlies. November draws against fellow World Cup finalists Japan and Colombia were fellow by defeat to France in March. That form is not so much of a concern as the fact that the Netherlands have failed to score in two successive outings.

Ecuador can expect that to change here, however, and that is why the Dutch are odds-on for victory at 1/2, while the South Americans are 5/1 outsiders to cause an upset. A third draw in four friendly fixtures for the Clockwork Orange, meanwhile, is a 3/1 shot.