Costa Rica tough to break down
Spain will dominate possession
All of Ticos' qualifiers saw Under 3.5 Goals bet land
Spain v Costa Rica
Wednesday 23 November, 16:00
Live on ITV1
On a day packed with surprises, Tunisia frustrated us by holding the Danes to a goalless draw, although had a late penalty been awarded for handball we might have had redemption late on. Sadly for us, the referee went to the monitor, and waved away the claims.
We focus on Group E today, because Spain are in action against Costa Rica. La Roja are many peoples' tip to win the tournament, but there are question marks at both ends of the pitch.
Spain played magnificent football at the Euros last year, but they only actually won one game inside 90 minutes, and they were edged out on penalties in the semi-finals by eventual winners Italy. They are still heavily reliant on Alvaro Morata in the centre-forward position, although the inclusion of Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati gives them an unpredictable wild card who can discomfit defences.
In goal, Unai Simon can be prone to lapses in concentration, and coach Luis Enrique is yet to find a solid pairing at centre-back, but in midfield Spain are exceptionally gifted. Barca tyros Pedri and Gavi are truly outstanding, while Manchester City's Rodri has a legitimate claim to be one of the best defensive midfielders in world football.
Costa Rica scraped into the World Cup finals with a 1-0 playoff win over New Zealand, and they are still relying on veterans like Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell. 35-year-old keeper Keylor Navas remains their best player, and the Ticos are expected to adopt a safety-first approach.
In CONCACAF qualifying, Costa Rica saw an Under 3.5 Goals bet land in all 14 of their games. Even though they are facing superior opposition today, those figures give us an idea of their approach.
I'll use the Sportsbook's Bet Builder to back Spain to win and Under 3.5 Goals at 1.84/5.