Depay on bench for Netherlands against Ecuador

DOHA, Nov 25 — Memphis Depay was named as a substitute for the Netherlands in their second World Cup Group A game against Ecuador today, with Enner Valencia in the starting line-up for the South American team.

Dutch coach Louis van Gaal had hinted that Barcelona forward Depay could be thrown in from kick-off at the Khalifa International Stadium after making an impact off the bench in Monday’s 2-0 win over Senegal.

That was his first match in two months following a thigh injury.

Van Gaal made three changes for today’s match. Jurrien Timber replaced Matthijs de Ligt in central defence, Teun Koopmeiners comes into the midfield for Steven Berghuis and Davy Klaassen starts ahead of Vincent Janssen further forward.

Valencia had been a fitness concern for Ecuador after scoring both goals as they beat hosts Qatar 2-0 in the tournament’s opening game.

Yet he is named in Gustavo Alfaro’s team, in which the only change the coach has made is bringing Jackson Porozo into the back line.

Ecuador are likely to mirror the Netherlands in playing with a three-man central defence.

Senegal’s 3-1 win over Qatar earlier means the Netherlands will qualify for the last 16 with a victory.

Starting line-ups:

Netherlands (3-4-1-2)

Andries Noppert; Jurrien Timber, Virgil van Dijk (capt), Nathan Ake; Denzel Dumfries, Teun Koopmeiners, Frenkie de Jong, Daley Blind; Davy Klaassen; Steven Bergwijn, Cody Gakpo

Coach: Louis van Gaal (NED)

Ecuador (5-4-1)

Hernan Galindez; Angelo Preciado, Jackson Porozo, Felix Torres, Piero Hincapie, Pervis Estupinan; Gonzalo Plata, Jhegson Mendez, Moises Caicedo, Michael Estrada; Enner Valencia (capt)

Coach: Gustavo Alfaro (ARG)

Referee: Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG) — AFP