Spain vs Costa Rica Match Analysis & Prediction
23/11/2022 7:00 pm
Spain will be looking to get their World Cup 2022 campaign off to the best possible start when they face Costa Rica in their Group E opener at the Al Thumama Stadium on Wednesday.
Luis Enrique’s side have found it difficult to impress in their two World Cups since lifting the trophy in 2010, but Costa Rica reached the quarter-final stage of the 2014 tournament, which is their best performance in the finals.
It has been a difficult few years for Spain by their own high standards, being eliminated in the group stage of the 2014 competition, losing two of their three matches in the finals, before exiting in the round of 16 last time out.
La Roja were beaten on penalties by hosts Russia in the round of 16 in 2018, but they reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and are certainly capable of making a serious impression in this time around due to their quality.
They enter the contest off the back of a 3-1 victory over Hordan on Thursday, which proved to be their first game since ending their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 1-0 win over Portugal at the end of September.
Costa Rica first competed in the finals of the World Cup back in 1990, reaching the round of 16, before being eliminated in the group stage in both 2002 and 2006.
Four years ago in Russia, they also went out in the group stage, but they reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 competition, topping Group D ahead of Uruguay, Italy and England before beating Greece on penalties in the first knockout round.
Luis Fernando Suarez’s side, who are the last team to qualify for the World Cup, then faced Netherlands in the last eight of the tournament, with Holland winning 4-3 on penalties following a goalless draw.
Spain vs. Costa Rica Head to head
These two nations have previously met on just three occasions in friendlies, where Spain have claimed two victories while they have drawn once. Spain have scored nine goals and conceded three in the process.
23/11/2022SpainN/ACosta RicaN/AWorld Cup
Spain Team News
Jose Gaya has been forced to pull out of the Spain squad due to an injury, with Alejandro Balde called up as his replacement, while Gavi, Pedri and Sergio Busquets will start in midfield.
Pau Torres is expected to get the nod alongside Aymeric Laporte in the middle of the defence.
Spain's Last 5 Matches
12/06/2022Spain2Czech Republic0Nations League
Costa Rica Team News
Suarez is expected to set up his side in a 4-3-3 formation, which would become a 4-5-1 when they are not in possession of the ball, with Keylor Navas in goal.
Francisco Calvo could be joined in the middle of the defence by Oscar Duarte, with Carlos Martinez and Bryan Oviedo in the full-back areas.
Costa Rica's Last 5 Matches
05/06/2022Costa Rica2Martinique0Concacaf Nations League
14/06/2022Costa Rica1New Zealand0World Cup Qualification Intercontinental
23/09/2022Korea Republic2Costa Rica2Friendlies
Spain vs. Costa Rica: Odds and Predictions
200% bonus up to Ksh 26,280
Register at Melbet and get a 200% first deposit bonus of up to 26,280 KESCLAIM BONUS