Spain has been a World Cup nightmare over the last two tournaments. Since winning in 2010, they have been eliminated in the group stage and then the round of 16. Their golden generation has begun to fade away. Now, a young side has stepped into the spotlight, and a nation with endless football heritage looks poised to return to form.
Costa Rica can handle itself in challenging situations. Drawing Uruguay, England, and Italy in 2014 – they managed to top that group, going undefeated. Unfortunately, the following World Cup saw them take on Brazil, Serbia, and Switzerland – they only came away with a single point.
It looks like Spain will be without keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, but they will have a fully fit defensive corps – another worry for Costa Rica. Spain has not conceded more than two goals in a game in over a year. Costa Rica is going into this one fully fit.
Let’s jump into the odds.
All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel SportsbookSpain (-600) vs. Costa Rica (+1500) | Draw: (+650)
This is quite the line. Spain is loaded with quality all around the pitch and will have a lovely mix of veteran presence and youthful exuberance. Costa Rica, meanwhile, is desperately holding onto the last legs of a generation past. Rightly so, as this is a side that has reached the quarterfinals of this tournament within the previous decade.
Despite the apparent gap in skill between these two sides, do not take Costa Rica lightly. They have lost just once in 2022 and recorded strong wins over fellow CONCACAF qualifiers Canada and USA. Los Ticos are a team looking to frustrate Spain in any way possible and strike on the counter-attack. However, their strength up front looks to be cause for concern.
Does that mean I’m spending my hard-earned money on Costa Rica to win? Definitely not. As we have already seen, nothing is certain in a World Cup, but I’m not getting involved with any straight moneyline picks.Spain vs. Costa Rica: Players to Watch
- Gavi (ESP)
- Pedri (ESP)
- Aymeric Laporte (ESP)
- Keylor Navas (CRC)
- Joel Campbell (CRC)
- Anthony Contreras (CRC)
As I mentioned, this Costa Rica side is blessed with less skill than Spain. How do you make up for that? Play hard. Crunching tackles, body on the line, anything goes. That’s what Costa Rica will do; yellow cards will be handed out in abundance.Best Prop: Ferran Torres Anytime Goalscorer (+115)
He’s hardly rated as highly as he should be by most soccer fans – but make no mistake, Ferran Torres can score. He’s got three goals in five Champions League starts for Barcelona this year. Fun fact: He’s in a relationship with Sira Martinez, who just so happens to be the daughter of Spain’s head coach Luis Enrique. I think that means he’s guaranteed to start. Right?