Spain vs Costa Rica prediction
Costa Rica is the smallest country by population to have qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and they start their campaign on Wednesday when they face the 2010 champions, Spain.
And although the European side have arguably underperformed at the two previous editions since winning the Jules Rimet Trophy for the first time, I fancy them to make a run and maybe even be one of the contenders to win this year’s World Cup.
Spain have playmakers all over the park – Pedri and Gavi of Barcelona in the middle, Ferran Torres, Marco Asensio in an attack three, and Jordi Alba bombing forward from left-back. If there’s one issue it’s their out-and-out striker, of which Alvaro Morata is expected to lead the line for Luis Enrique’s side.
Despite playing for a number of massive clubs around Europe and currently at Atletico Madrid, Morata has never been a prolific goalscorer at club level. Although with 27 goals in 57 caps for the national team may give his teammates confidence.
Spain have a lot of depth in their squad and I fully expect them to progress from this group and at least make the quarter-finals, if not further.
Whilst Costa Rica did turn a few heads by reaching the quarter-finals in 2014, progressing from a group that included Italy, England and Uruguay, they head to Qatar with an ageing squad. Goalkeeper Keylor Navas is now 35, although arguably is still their best line of defence. Oscar Duarte, Francisco Calvo and Bryan Oviedo, who are expected to start in a back four, are all passed the age of 30.
I expect Costa Rica to spend much of this game chasing the ball in what Spain have the potential to put a few past them.
Best bet: Spain to win -2.5 goals is 11/10 with BetFred