Big Match Breakdown: England v Costa Rica
Dave Burin | 7 June 2018
Three Lions head into final pre-WC game
England finish their World Cup preparations with a clash against Costa Rica at Elland Road this evening.
The Three Lions will be looking to head to Russia on a high, while Los Ticos are also gearing up for the tournament – and beat Northern Ireland 3-0 on Sunday.
Ahead of this tournament dress rehearsal, the Coral News Team have all the info in another Big Match Breakdown.
These sides have faced off just once before, though it came on the biggest stage.
The pair drew 0-0 in a group stage game at the World Cup four years ago. The result ensured England finished bottom of the group, while Costa Rica qualified as group-winners.
Gareth Southgate could well give starts to Danny Rose and Phil Jones in defence – though Gary Cahill is likely to keep his spot from the Nigeria game.
Up top, it could be a front two of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy in the manager’s favoured 3-1-4-2 system.
The visitors tend to go with a 5-3-1 system, with two wingers. Bryan Ruiz and Arsenal’s Joel Campbell are likely to occupy the flanks, with the in-form Marcos Urena in the centre-forward role.
England’s job will be penetrating a well-organised and packed defence – something that could be good practice ahead of games against Tunisia and (in particular) Panama. The Three Lions’ pace up front could prove vital.
For Costa Rica, it’s all about trying to exploit their hosts out wide. The tricky and experienced Ruiz and energetic Campbell will need to be well-marshalled by the likes of Rose and Jones.
In the match betting, England are 4/11 favourites. Meanwhile, Coral’s traders make it 3/1 for a Draw and have a Costa Rica victory at 15/2.
It’s unlikely to be a goal-fest. Just one of England’s last seven games has seen more than two goals scored, and it’s 8/11 for Under 2.5 here. Meanwhile, an England victory and Under 3.5 Goals is 20/23.
The Three Lions are pretty solid on home soil, with six clean sheets and as many wins in their last 10. It’s 9/2 for a 2-0 England win, while a 2-1 home triumph is 8/1.
In the goalscorer markets, Jamie Vardy is 4/5 to Score Anytime and boost his hopes of a starting place in the WC opener against Tunisia.
Meanwhile, Los Ticos’ best chance of a goal is 7/2 shot Marco Urena, who has four goals in his previous nine games for the national side.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing