It is the Maracana in Rio that will host the final game of Group E between Ecuador and France on June 25th. Coming into the matchup France currently sits atop the group with 6 points and a goal differential of +6, while Ecuador sits in second with an even goal differential of 0. With a draw or a win “Les Bleus” automatically seal up top spot in the group. While Ecuador will need either a win or a draw and a Swiss loss, or a Honduran win that didn’t make up their -4 goal differential, in order to advance into the next round. For the full lowdown on the entire Group E table, it can be seen here.

Coming into the match, France has looked like one of the best teams in the tournament thus far. What makes this side so exciting is that the fact that none of them can really be considered superstars; outside maybe of Karim Benzema who has been in fine form recently. They are playing as a single unit, putting aside all of the controversy that followed them at the 2010 World Cup. It really looks like coach Didier Deschamps has instilled the mindset into his players that everyone has a specific role to play and that no one is bigger than the team. Despite calls being made to rest some of the starters, expect to see France at full strength when they step onto the famed pitch in Rio.  

Ecuador will be coming into this game with the mindset that three points is absolutely necessary if they want to advance, as the Swiss are heavily favored over Honduras. Enner Valencia has been the starman for the Ecuadorians thus far, scoring 3 goals in the first two games, including a brace against Honduras. When asked about the coming matchup and what “La Tri” need to do to see a result, he stated, “They’re going to be very difficult opponents. We know France’s strengths but we’re going to have to take care if we want to hurt them.”

France is by far the favorite to take home the three points and the South Americans will need to play to their full potential if they want to have a shot of advancing from the group stage. The game is set to kick off at 4PM EST and can be seen on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and Univision. It can also be viewed online as WatchESPN will be streaming all live games for free directly from here and in Spanish here.  Enjoy the Group E matchup that will surely be entertaining, as Ecuador will be fighting for their World Cup lives!