Football Betting Tips & Predictions

Costa Rica vs New Zealand betting tips: World Cup Inter-Confederation play-off preview, predictions and odds

This is New Zealand's fourth successive appearance in the inter-confederation play-offs, beating Bahrain in 2009 but subsequently losing to Mexico and Peru. Overall, the All Whites' have lost all four competitive internationals against CONCACAF teams, conceding 13 goals and scoring just five.

Costa Rica were beaten in these play-offs for South Africa 2010, losing 2-1 on aggregate to Uruguay. This'll be los Ticos' first-ever competitive meeting with Oceanic opposition. Costa Rica are unbeaten in seven World Cup qualifiers, their longest streak since 2016. 

Under 2.5 goals is 1/2.

Under 2.5 goals and both teams to score NO is 4/5.

Costa Rica to win and under 2.5 goals is 2/1. 

Match preview

855 matches will be played in World Cup 2022 qualifying, the very last of which is this inter-confederation play-off in Al-Rayyan.

New Zealand are more familiar than any other nation with these play-offs, making their fourth successive appearance in this contest.

That's because OFC is only given 0.5 places at the World Cup so, despite winning all five Oceanic World Cup qualifiers, the All Whites are not there yet.

Back in 2009, they overcame Bahrain 1-0 on aggregate to qualify for South Africa 2010, just their second World Cup appearance, following Spain '82.

However, since then, it's been double play-off heartbreak for New Zealand, losing over two legs to Mexico and then Peru.

Will it be an historic night for Danny Hay's team, or will it be a hat-trick of play-off heartbreak for the All Whites?

Costa Rica meanwhile come into this clash as firm favourites, given both form and historical achievements.

Los Ticos have qualified for five World Cups in all, including four of the last five, famously reaching the quarter-finals at Brazil 2014.

The only edition they've missed this century is 2010, losing in the inter-confederation play-offs to Uruguay back then.

Luis Fernando Suárez's side ended this cycle in style, accumulating 19 points from 21 available, surging up to fourth place in CONCACAF qualification.

Since, they've played a pair of Nations League games, losing 2-0 to Panama before a victory by the same scoreline against Martinique nine days ago.

That defeat in Panama City aside, Costa Rica are in red-hot form right now, so are extremely confident of prevailing in this one-off clash.

The winners of this fixture will join Group E at the World Cup, where they'll meet former World Champions Germany and Spain as well as Japan.

Will Costa Rica be too strong, or can New Zealand pull off a massive surprise at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium?

Costa Rica team news

Luis Fernando Suárez named a pair of experimental line-ups for the CONCACAF Nations League games earlier this month, but all the big guns will be back.

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas didn't feature in either, but is back and will win his 101st cap.

Joel Campbell scored his 24th international goal against Martinique and will continue to be a threat up front.

He was their joint-top scorer in World Cup qualifying, albeit Campbell was one of four players who netted only twice.

For fellow World Cup 2014 heroes Óscar Duarte, Bryan Oviedo, Kendall Waston, Celso Borges and Bryan Ruiz this is their last shot at a World Cup.

Captain Ruiz, once of Fulham, will win his 143rd cap, which is actually nine less than midfield partner Borges.

A rare youngster in this squad Anthony Contreras scored in both World Cup qualifiers in March, so would love to keep the streak going.

New Zealand team news

New Zealand played all five Oceanic World Cup qualifiers in Qatar in March and have played a pair of friendlies subsequently.

Chris Wood remains this team's talisman has scored 33 times for his country.

The Newcastle United striker scored against Mexico at the 2017 Confederations Cups and is dreaming of a World Cup return later this year.

Captain Winston Reid, once of West Ham United, hasn't actually played a club game since the Championship play-off final of 29 May 2021.

Nevertheless, he remains their rock at the back; both Reid and Wood were in the New Zealand side that were unbeaten in South Africa 12 years ago.

Goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic alongside defenders Michael Boxall and Bill Tuiloma will need to be on top form if New Zealand are to win this one.

St Mirren striker Alex Greive scored his first two international goals in World Cup qualifying in March, so would love to add to that in this massive clash.

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Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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