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Spain vs Costa Rica Match Preview

22 Nov 2022 07:06    

The match

Spain have struggled in the last two World Cup finals after lifting the world title in 2010. They will be hoping for a flying start to the 2022 finals as they open their quest with a Group E game against Costa Rica. Coming into this game, Spain have been on an upward trajectory, reaching the semi finals of the 2020 Euro and the final of the UEFA Nations League. They also topped their group in the third edition of the Nations League and will be vying for that title. Spain are a squad in transition and manager Luis Enrique overlooked a few senior players for this competition but they will still be strong coming over. In their only friendly match before this competition, they beat Jordan 3-1 for their fourth win in five matches. The goal conceded in stoppage time in that game will however mean they missed the chance to make it four clean sheets in five games. Three times in the last five matches, Spain have gone to the break leading and they’ve gone one to win those three games. This will be the fourth time they mean Costa Rica, and Spain have never lost, winning two of the last three.

Costa Rica are on a five-game unbeaten streak and they have suffered just one loss in their last 13 matches. With Germany and Japan also in this group, Costa Rica are tipped to struggle, but the same was also said of their campaign in 2014 but they topped their group. Just like Spain, Costa Rica have registered three clean sheets in five matches while they have scored two goals in each of their last three matches. A canceled friendly match with Iran on 17th would have been Costa Rica’s final game before the World Cup but here they come having beaten African giants Nigeria 2-0 about 12 days before this game. In the last World Cup Costa Rica didn’t do so well, proving a pale shadow of the side that went all the way to the quarter finals in 2014. They have no win in their last four World Cup matches and have failed to score in three of them, while conceding twice in each of the last two games. Most of Costa Rica’s recent goals have come in the second half – four of seven in the last five matches

Key Statistics

Spain have won four of their last five matches.

Costa Rica are unbeaten in their last five matches.

Spain have led at half time in three of their last five matches.

Spain have three clean sheets in the last five matches.

Costa Rica have scored four of seven goals in the second half in their last four games.

Spain have conceded two second half goals in their last five matches.

The bet of our experts

Spain are seeking to rise again after dismal performances in the last two World Cup finals. This is the kind of game they could use to re-establish their dominance at the World Cup and it finds them at the right time, when things are going well for them across all competitions. Costa Rica can be a tough opponent to break, as their recent results suggest, but here they face a technically gifted Spanish side, and with Spain developing a knack for first half goals, we are backing them to go to half time leading.

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