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Spain vs Costa Rica Predictions

  • 16:00
  • Expired
  • Al Thumama Stadium
Costa Rica
  • ITV

Costa Rica +3

Reason for tip

Spain scored fewer than three goals in six of their eight matches in qualifying, while they scored more than once in only two of their Nations League games in 2022. The Spanish drew their opening two at Euro 2020, scoring just once. Meanwhile, Costa Rica haven’t lost by more than two goals at the last two World Cups.

4/9odds when tipped

Spain 1-0

Reason for tip

Spain have scored just once in seven of their last nine competitive games. They’ve won to nil in three of their last four Nations League games, but they should struggle to break through against a Costa Rica side who conceded eight times in 14 qualifying games.

6/1odds when tipped
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Ferran Torres To Score Anytime

Reason for tip

Torres recorded more goals and shots in World Cup qualifying than any other Spain player. He took 19 shots across that campaign, while he hit two goals for the national team at Euro 2020.

5/4odds when tipped
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Spain vs Costa Rica Predictions

  • Costa Rica kept a clean sheet in six of their last seven qualifiers
  • The North American outfit haven’t lost by more than two goals at either of the previous two World Cups
  • Spain scored fewer than three goals in six of their eight qualifiers and all six Nations League games
  • The Spanish scored just once across their opening two games at Euro 2020

Can Spain cut through?

Spain’s next goal at the FIFA World Cup will be their 100th in the tournament. They scored their first all the way back in 1934, while they could be waiting a little while to complete their century. The Spanish bring bags of quality to Qatar, but they severely lack it in the final third.

Spain come into the tournament after a fine run on the international stage. They made the semi-finals at Euro 2020 before reaching the final of the Nations League months later. They have already booked their spot in the next round of Nations League semis, but their lack of cutting edge could end up costing them in the latter stages of this tournament.

Expect the Spanish to continue their possession-heavy style, but against the wrong opponent that can become an issue. The Spanish struggle to break down deep defences, which could see them frustrated in their opener.

Costa Rica to frustrate favourites

Costa Rica are becoming ever-presents at this tournament, having made all but one edition in the 21st century. However, they’ve made it through the group only once from those four appearances, while the draw for Qatar doesn’t suggest they’ll stick around that long.

On the plus side, Costa Rica are defensively solid. They finished qualifying with five clean sheets in six to secure a play-off berth, beating New Zealand 1-0 in Qatar to secure their spot. Obviously, the bar is higher for them this time around, but their defensive structure will be something they lean on this month.

A good defensive record took Costa Rica to the last eight in 2014, while they lost 1-0 to Serbia and 2-0 to Brazil before drawing with Switzerland in 2018. They won’t be pushovers, while their defensive setup should frustrate Spain.

Ferran the man to break deadlock

Spain scored more than once in only two of their six Nations League games earlier this year, scoring twice home and away to a Czech Republic side who were relegated from the group. The Spanish scored fewer than three goals in six of their eight qualifying games too, so it’s hard to see them blowing away Costa Rica in their opener.

At Euro 2020, Spain kicked off with a 0-0 against Sweden before drawing 1-1 against Poland. They did ease into that tournament, but they could struggle to get it together going forward in their opener. Given Costa Rica’s set-up and World Cup record, back the underdogs with a +3 handicap alongside a 1-0 Spain win.

The man Spain will look to in order to breakthrough is likely Barcelona’s Ferran Torres. The former Man City winger scored four goals in qualifying, twice as many as anyone else in their squad. He also attempted more shots than any of his teammates, racking up 19 shots on goal. After scoring twice at the last Euros, he’s my choice to find the net in Spain’s opener.

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