Colombia is preparing for its match against Ecuador this afternoon in the city of Quito. The national squad has arrived at the Rodrigo Paz Delgado Stadium to compete in the fourth round of the World Cup 2026 Qualifiers. The main question surrounding the team’s lineup is the physical condition of James Rodriguez, who played a significant role against Uruguay in the previous match and whose selection is now uncertain due to physical issues.
During a press conference, the Colombian coach, Nestor Lorenzo, expressed his intention to wait until the last moment to determine whether the number 10 player will participate in the match against Ecuador. Regardless of James’s status, the coach will not field the same starting lineup as in the game against Uruguay, as he is required to make at least two changes due to suspensions or injuries.
However, the manager will maintain the core of the starting eleven. The central defensive partnership is expected to remain the same as in the previous match, with Davinson Sánchez alongside Carlos Cuesta. In the attacking front, Santos Borre, Luis Diaz, and Jhon Arias have secured their places in the team.
Changes for Nestor Lozano’s side
Due to the expulsion of Camilo Vargas during the match against Uruguay, the Colombian national team coach is compelled to make changes in the goalkeeper position for today’s match in Quito. Unless there is a surprise, Alvaro Montero from the Millonarios team will be the starter. Kevin Mier and Jose Luis Chunga, who recently joined the squad, will begin on the bench.
The main uncertainty lies in who will replace Santiago Arias, who is injured. The only natural right-back in the squad is Juan David Mosquera, a 21-year-old who has played only one match with the national team in a friendly against the USA in January. Another option that Lorenzo may be considering is placing Yerson Mosquera, a regular center-back, in that position.
The only non-mandatory change that Colombia could make would be the return of Deiver Machado to the starting eleven instead of Frank Fabra. After that, everything depends on James’s status. If the number 10 player participates, the same midfield and attack that faced Uruguay will be maintained. If the captain cannot play, Jorge Carrascal will enter the starting eleven as an interior midfielder, and Jhon Arias will shift to the attacking line, acting as a right winger, thus maintaining the tactical structure.