Miami draw would probably suit both parties.
What is with this England football team? Not a single nightclub excursion to report or a whiff of a fractured metatarsal!
Leighton Baines’ cramp has almost been the most noteworthy piece of news to emerge from the England camp so far – at this rate, the tabloids will have to concentrate on what happens on the pitch rather than the treatment room!
Roy Hodgson’s squad is now in Miami, their final staging post ahead of the World Cup, where they will play two warm-up matches beginning with Ecuador.
You wouldn’t have described the England performance against Peru last Friday at Wembley as impressive – indeed Joe Hart was rather busier than he might have anticipated.
The England defence looked decidedly uneasy against a team that failed to qualify for Brazil 2014 but Phil Jagielka is still working his way back to full fitness and should improve.
Overall, there were too many non-descript performances from the likes of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson however, though Daniel Sturridge is beginning to look an accomplished international striker and scored a goal of real quality. Jack Wilshere also impressed as a second-half substitute and another couple of warm-up games will help the squad gel further.
Ecuador have France, Switzerland and Honduras in their World Cup group and will be hopeful of making the knockout stages. This is only their third-ever meeting with England and they’ve lost both previous encounters – a World Cup warm-up in 1970 and a last 16 tie at Germany 2006 decided by a David Beckham free-kick.
Of course, the result matters little in this one but neither side will want to lose at the Sun Life Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins.
Indications are that neither coach will field his full-strength line-up for this one with the likes of Luke Shaw, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and his new Liverpool strike partner Rickie Lambert likely to start for England in a team led by vice-captain Frank Lampard, who finally parted ways with Chelsea this week.
Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda may rest leading striker Felipe Caicedo and Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia but will be interested to see how his defenders cope with a European-style attack – none of his back four play outside South or Central America.
Given both sides will make changes, a draw would probably satisfy both camps and that can be backed at 9/4. Even in the Odd/Even Total Goals market is 4/5 and seems a decent bet, given the likelihood of a low-intensity draw!