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Spain vs Costa Rica: previews, team news – November 23rd – WC2022

The champions of the FIFA World Cup 2022 will kick off their World Cup campaign with a meeting against Costa Rica in Group E.
By: Leey
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Spain’s form

After two consecutively unsuccessful World Cups (eliminated in the group stage in 2014 and in the round of 16 in 2018), Luis Enrique's team will have to face a challenge at the FIFA World Cup 2022 when they are in a difficult group that includes both Germany and Japan, as well as Costa Rica. It forces Spain team to play with more than 100% ability to have any hope of reaching the next round.

However, Spain is becoming more powerful under the direction of Coach Luis Enrique. In the Euro 2020 semi-finals, they only lost to Italy, the champions of this tournament, in a penalty shootout.

Spain's team had a successful season in 2022, winning four of their last five matches.They only lost to Switzerland 2-1 in the Nations League. Enrique's men played a friendly against Jordan before the FIFA World Cup 2022, beating them 3-1 thanks to goals from Gavi, Ansu Fati, and Nico Williams.


Costa Rica’s form

Costa Rica is not an easy opponent to play against at the moment.

The representative of the Concacaf region has just won 10, drawn 2, and lost only once in the last 13 matches in all competitions. Costa Rica defeated Nigeria 2-0 in a friendly match to prepare for the FIFA World Cup 2022, thanks to goals from Oscar Duarte and Kendall Watson. Before having a victory against Uzbekistan in September, they had a draw (2-2) with South Korea. They also defeated New Zealand 1-0 in the World Cup qualifier final and Martinique 2-0 in the Nations League.

In the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, Costa Rica played impressively when winning 3, drawing 3, and losing 2 times after 8 games played (counted in the official 90 minutes). In particular, Costa Rica once made a strong impression when winning points from European giants such as Italy, England, the Netherlands, or Greece.


Although not as highly regarded as the European representatives, Costa Rica will present numerous obstacles to Spain's scoring.

Head-to-head history

In the past, the match between Spain and Costa Rica has been friendly. In their last three meetings, Spain has two wins and one draw.

Especially, they won the last friendly match of 2017 by a large margin of 5-0. This will be the basis for football fans believe that Spain will continue to show their power in the match against Costa Rica at the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Team news

Spain will not have the services of defender Jose Gaya because of his injury before the tournament, and coach Luis Enrique called in Alejandro Balde to replace him. But apart from this case, they have no other injuries. For the first match in Qatar, the Spanish team is likely to launch the strongest squad, with the midfield consisting of the trio of Sergio Busquets, Gavi, and Pedri of Barca. As for the attack, Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati will support striker Alvaro Morata.

On the Costa Rica side, coach Luis Fernando Suarez's team has no absence. Representatives of CONCACAF will start with a 4-3-3 formation, and can switch to a 4-5-1 when needing to defend. The core of Costa Rica is still the old generals who have passed the age of 30 such as goalkeeper Keylor Navas, defenders Francisco Calvo, Oscar Duarte, Bryan Oviedo or midfielder Celso Borges.

Expected lineups:

Spain (4-3-3): Simon; Carvajal, Laporte, P. Torres, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, Gavi; F. Torres, Morata, Fati.

Costa Rica (4-3-3): Navas; C. Martinez, Calvo, Duarte, Oviedo; Tejeda, Bennette, G. Torres; Borges, Contreras, Campbell.

Written by: Leey
Leey is the reporter for Betimate. She currently has a series of articles about football. She specializes in researching football data to come up with evaluations about the tournament and predictions about the matches.

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Premier League
Overall table PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1 Arsenal 50 19 16 2 1 45 16 29
2 Man City 45 20 14 3 3 53 20 33
3 Newcastle 39 20 10 9 1 33 11 22
4 Man Utd 39 20 12 3 5 32 25 7
5 Tottenham 36 21 11 3 7 40 31 9
6 Brighton 31 19 9 4 6 37 27 10
7 Fulham 31 21 9 4 8 32 30 2
8 Brentford 30 20 7 9 4 32 28 4
9 Liverpool 29 19 8 5 6 34 25 9
10 Chelsea 29 20 8 5 7 22 21 1
11 Aston Villa 28 20 8 4 8 23 27 -4
12 Crystal Palace 24 20 6 6 8 18 27 -9
13 Nottm Forest 21 20 5 6 9 16 35 -19
14 Leicester 18 20 5 3 12 28 35 -7
15 Leeds 18 19 4 6 9 26 33 -7
16 West Ham 18 20 5 3 12 17 25 -8
17 Wolverhampton 17 20 4 5 11 12 30 -18
18 Bournemouth 17 20 4 5 11 19 42 -23
19 Everton 15 20 3 6 11 15 28 -13
20 Southampton 15 20 4 3 13 17 35 -18