Spain vs Costa Rica Betting Preview – 23.11
On November 23, one of the favourites will start the fight for the title at the World Cup 2022. The Spanish national team will play against Costa Rica. This will be an opening match of Group E and the fourth encounter between the teams.
12 years after winning the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, the Spanish team seems to be back. After two consecutive unsuccessful World Cups in 2014 and 2018, the Spaniards are approaching the World Cup as one of their main favourites. This, of course, is not the Spanish team of the late 2000s and early 10s, but a match against this team can lead to problems for any team in the tournament.
Luis Enrique is the head coach of Spain. The main successes of the Spanish specialist are associated with Barcelona – in the 2014/2015 season, he scored a treble with the Catalans (winning La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League). His main success in the status of the head coach of the Spanish national team is reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2022, where his team lost to Italy only in a penalty shootout.
Among the strengths of the Spanish national team are the style of play and the creativity of the players. Spain is a team that always prefers to control the ball and the pace of the game. Despite the fact that the style of the Spaniards has not changed for many years, playing with this team is still a difficult task for any opponent.
The weaknesses of this team are the lack of a leader and errors in defence. For sure, when the team won the World Cup back in 2010, they did not have a sole leader, but this time everything is different.
Costa Rica Form
The Costa Rica national team – the strongest team in Central America – has taken part in six of the last nine world championships. In 2014, the Costa Ricans became a sensational team, having managed to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Brazil. After missing out on the 2018 World Cup in Qatar, Costa Rica will certainly try to please its fans and remember the best time of the team, despite the presence of Germany and Spain in the group.
Luis Fernando Suarez is the head coach of the Costa Rica national team. He has also worked with the national teams of Honduras and Ecuador. The Colombian took charge of Los Ticos in 2021.
The strengths of the Costa Rica team are the game in the air and discipline. Los Ticos have worked out all the free kick positions well, which can often lead to danger at the opponents’ goal.
Discipline is another quality of Costa Ricans. Most of the national team players are well acquainted with each other from playing in the domestic championship. All this gives excellent mutual understanding in the main team of the country.
The weaknesses of the team are the protracted change of generations and the variability in the attack. Many players in the national team are older and no longer pull physical activity throughout the entire 90 minutes of the match. So far Los Ticos have not had a replacement for them.
The Costa Ricans have few offensive options. They are used to playing without the ball, relying on counterattacks and set pieces. In addition, they have almost nothing to offer in attack.
Many interesting facts can attract the attention of punters:
- The Spanish team is gradually rejuvenated. There are new players who are ready to demonstrate the maximum of their individual skills.
- Unlike most national teams, the main star of Costa Rica is the goalkeeper. Keylor Navas has been one of the best goalkeepers in the world for several years now.
- It is only the fourth meeting between the teams. All previous ones have been friendlies.
Spain – Costa Rica: H2H Matches
Spain and Costa Rica have only met in friendly games. The first game ended in a 2:2 draw. Spain won the second and third games convincingly with a 2:1 and 5:0 score, respectively. While all games have been friendlies, teams can prepare a lot of surprises for opponents.
Players to Watch
Spain’s squad is full of creative players who alone can create a dangerous moment at the opponent’s goal. Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, and Xabi Alonso are no longer part of the Red Fury, but the Spaniards are still distinguished by high team intelligence and teamwork.
The same cannot be said about Costa Rica, but they have experienced players who can decide the fate of the match with just a single shot.
Alvaro Morata – Spain
Morata can’t be called a super striker, but Spain basically has no choice. The Atlético forward struggles to finish, but he makes up for it with a huge amount of work, constantly pressing central defenders and also often dropping into the centre of the field for the ball. Morata played 56 matches for the national team, scoring 26 goals.
Pedri – Spain
Pedri is sometimes regarded as the new Andres Iniesta. The 19-year-old Barcelona midfielder, despite his young age, has already managed to play in a major tournament as part of the national team – in 2021, he played with the Red Fury at the Euro 2020. Spain fans have high hopes for Pedri due to his playing qualities – he does a lot of work, helping his team both in defence and in the attack.
Rodri – Spain
Rodri is the heir of Sergio Busquets. The Manchester City midfielder can be called the reincarnation of one of the best defensive midfielders of all time. Only unlike his predecessor, Rodri is more resilient, looks better under pressure and has almost the same game intelligence. Rodri is good at tackles and quickly disperses attacks after intercepting the ball.
Keylor Navas – Costa Rica
Keylor Navas is the captain of the team. The Costa Rican goalkeeper, who won the Champions League three times in a row with Real Madrid, is well known to all football fans. Navas, who is called a panther in the football world for his amazing reaction and jumping ability, played 107 matches for the country’s main team.
Joel Campbell – Costa Rica
Joel Campbell is the main force in attack. The ex-striker of Arsenal was once considered one of the most promising players in the world but failed to live up to expectations. Campbell is already 30, but the explosive speed and powerful shots are still in the player’s arsenal. Campbell played 117 games for Los Ticos, scoring 25 goals.
Francisco Calvo – Costa Rica
Francisco Calvo is the main defender of the team. Calvo, despite his modest stature for a central defender, plays well in the air. Calvo has 74 matches for the national team, and for sure, he is a cornerstone of the defence.
Spain vs Costa Rica Betting Tips
While the match might seem an easy win for Spain, there are a lot of betting markets to choose from. We have decided to offer you some of them.
Handicap -2.5 – 1.60
It is obvious that Spain are stronger, but Luis Enrique still does not have a sufficiently classy striker at his disposal, which certainly affects the performance of the national team. Costa Rica will play defensively, with the most experienced Keylor Navas on goal, and there are several quality players who have played in Europe for fairly well-known teams.
Spain should win, but not with a big score; after all, breaking the defence of Costa Rica will not be as easy as it seems. Therefore, we suggest taking that Costa Rica will not lose by two goals or more.
Under 3 Goals – 1.75
Over the last 20 official matches, Spain scored more than two goals four times, although only Croatia can be distinguished from these four teams, and all the rest were frankly weaker than the Spaniards. On average, Spain scores 1.7 goals per game, conceding only 0.85, so we believe that a total of two or three goals will be scored, but no more.
Under 2.5 Yellow Cards – 1.80
Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed is quite a loyal referee, he shows an average of exactly two yellow cards per game. At the same time, the Spaniards, on average, receive 0.89 yellow cards per game, and the players of Costa Rica – 1.4. We expect the referee to whistle less often and show no more than three yellow cards.
The Red Fury are considered favourites – no doubts about that. However, at World Cup, every team plays with maximum motivation. Costa Rica will not be different. They already proved in 2014 that teamwork and solid defensive play could be a path to success. Therefore we anticipate a tough match for the Spanish side.
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