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World Cup: Costa Rica v England

 

 

 

Costa Rica Screenshot 2014-05-30 12.32.33

• Confirmed qualification could see changes potentially but might rest players within match. • Group winners likely to face easier last 16 draw so Costa Rica will still play for win.
• No injury news or suspensions so full pick of players to choose from.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful

None

Returning

None

Expected Team

Screenshot 2014-06-24 13.15.16

Team News

Following Costa Rica’s unexpected victories over Uruguay and Italy they come into the game with England in a situation that no one anticipated, Costa Rica having qualified already and England already out.

Pinto could be tempted to rest a couple of his key players but winning the group will still be in mind, something they can do with a draw, knowing that facing the runners up of Group C may represent an easier task than facing Colombia.

If Pinto was to make some changes then they could come in midfield. Tejeda and Borges are incredibly robust players, especially the former and he might not want to risk them being suspended so Cubero and/or Barrantes could come into the side.

Campbell and Ruiz are expected to start but they might only play two thirds of the match as Pinto may want to rest these key players at some point. Urena has impressed off the bench in the opening two matches and so he will be pushing for a start otherwise is likely to enter the game at some point in the second half.

Bench (from): Cambronero GK, Pemberton GK, Myrie RB/LB, Acosta CB, Miller CB, Francis LB, Barrantes DM, Cubero DM, Granados DM, Calvo LW, Brenes ST, Urena ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Campbell has been a key player for Costa Rica with his pace and movement but a lot of the time that is through dropping short to receive and run at the defence. Cahill has pace but as Suarez showed, the defence can lose concentration and be vulnerable to runners behind which is where Campbell could get success.
  •   Ruiz will look to exploit space behind the midfield as he did in the first two games which, if Henderson is missing, will be easier not that the England midfield has portrayed much defensive strength in the opening games anyway. They can easily be overrun when outnumbered and Costa Rica can capitalise on that.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

  •   In the Group of Death, many expected Costa Rica to have little chance of reaching the knockout prior to the tournament but they come into the final match chasing a 100% success rate. Various comments such as Jose Mourinho reportedly saying ‘Italy already have three points against Costa Rica’ has certainly motivated them and they are enjoying proving their critics wrong.
  •   The fact the team has qualified could see them rest slightly ahead of their Round of 16 tie but there will surely still be some motivation to win the group which really would be incredible achievement.

 

 

 

 

 

England Screenshot 2014-05-30 12.03.54

• Following exit from the competition Hodgson is likely to give some youngsters a chance to play. • Team will not want to face humiliation of losing all group games so motivation should be high. • Oxlade-Chamberlain available and has a good chance of starting.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful

None

Returning

Oxlade-Chamberlain – RW – Injury

Expected Team

Screenshot 2014-06-24 13.08.31

Team News

England don’t have any injuries or suspensions coming into this game but following their disappointing exit from the competition they are expected to make changes to their starting line-up.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is available again after missing the first two matches through injury and is a realistic contender for a starting spot as are fellow youngsters Shaw and Barkley at left back and in the offensive midfield positions respectively.

Lallana was said to have impressed the coaching staff in training prior to the Uruguay match so there could be an opportunity for him to play.

Hodgson won’t want to overload the side with changes as a third defeat of the tournament would complete the embarrassment of exiting this early as the team play for pride.

There could be opportunities at some point in the game though for players such as Phil Jones, James Milner and Rickie Lambert also whilst Jack Wilshere looks likely to come into midfield for Henderson.

Bench (from): Forster GK, Foster GK, Jones CB, Smalling CB, Shaw LB, Milner RM, Lampard CM, Wilshere CM, Lallana RM/LM, Barkley AM, Oxlade-Chamberlain RW, Lambert ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Costa Rica’s defence are very well organised and one of their great strengths lies with the centre backs stepping out to close down players between the lines with appropriate cover provided from the other 4. It is important for England to use the creative players in the team to overload in these situations to isolate the defender stepping out. The potential inclusion of Barkley will be useful as his dribbling qualities can take these players out of the game.
  •   Sturridge’s movement has been a rare positive in England’s performances and he will be a threat with his runs behind the advanced Costa Rica defence. Italy were regularly caught out with failure to time their runs and subsequently being caught offside on numerous occasions which England will need to be wary of.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

  •   Motivation will probably stem from fringe individuals looking to impress and put their mark on the team now that England have exited the tournament.
  •   The team will still be playing for pride. Exiting the tournament this early on has understandably not been well received in England but losing all the games would be even more disappointing and is an embarrassment the team wouldn’t want to face.

 

 

Football Form Labs Betting Preview:
Costa Rica (19) v England (11), Tuesday 24th June 17:00 BST

Costa Rica have six points after two games and England have zero points after two games yet the latter are odds on favourites to get a win here. Based on the performances so far, the England price looks comically short.

There have been just 14 Finals matches since 1970 where one team has six points and the other zero points coming into their third group match and the team with six points has won seven of the games with just three defeats.

Costa Rica should be really motivated to get at least a point here. Winning Group D offers two great advantages: 1) avoiding the impressive looking Colombians in the Last 16 (Colombia are 1.02 to win Group C) and 2) going into the more attractive looking bottom-half of the draw.

Costa Rica’s 1-0 win over Italy was the first time they’d kept a clean sheet in 12 matches although they have won (and lost) five of the 12. The Central Americans have now faced European opposition seven times in Finals since 1990 with the spoils shared: W3-D1-L3. They’ve no injury worries coming into this match and lively striker Joel Campbell will fancy his chances of netting against a creaky England defence.

Since 1970, 16 top-20 ranked nations have lost their opening two matches – as England, Spain and Bosnia-Herzegovina have this year – and just five have won their final match while 10 of the 16 have featured at least three goals.

England have won just three of their last 11 Finals matches and they’ve won only two of their last six against teams ranked 11-30.

With England expected to make wholesale changes to give some of the younger squad members World Cup experience this is a great opportunity to oppose Roy Hodgson’s side. 

 

 

Recommendation:

Back Costa Rica in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market at $3.15 with Screenshot 2014-05-21 12.49.05

 

 

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