Spain vs Costa Rica odds and betting statistics
Spain vs Costa Rica recommended bets
Spain vs Costa Rica match preview
Will this finally be the summer that Spain realise their potential?
Spanish women’s football has enjoyed an astronomical rise in the last decade, thanks largely to the success of Barcelona Femení, with the Catalan giants featuring in four of the last five Champions League Finals.
However, this is yet to translate into international success, with la Roja only winning one World Cup game to date.
On debut in 2015, Spain crashed out with just a point to their name, before beating South Africa four summers later, exiting at the hands of USA in the round of 16.
In terms of European Championships, they’ve bowed out in the quarter-finals at each of the last three editions, most-recently ousted by hosts England in extra time 12 months ago.
Since then, off-field issues have dominated the headlines, with 15 players, known as “Las quince”, writing to the RFEF requesting a ‘fresh start’, including a change of manager, refusing to be called up in the meantime.
Despite this, manager Jorge Vilda remains in charge, with the majority of the 15 having been brought back into the fold ahead of this tournament, although all this tension continues to bubble under the surface.
Weather or not Spain are able to make a deep run in-spite of this remains to be seen, but la Roja are very likely to pick up three points in this opener in Wellington.
As for Costa Rica, this’ll be just their second World Cup appearance, coming eight years after their first.
Back then, las Ticas actually held both Spain and Korea Republic to draws in Montréal, before a 1-0 defeat to Brazil ended their involvement.
Amelia Valverde was the Head Coach back then and is still in charge to this day, hoping to mastermind Costa Rica’s maiden World Cup win.
However, with their next game against Japan, las Ticas may be targeting their third Group C fixture against Zambia as their best shot of picking up three points.
Anything other than a comfortable Spanish victory at Wellington Regional Stadium would be a massive surprise.
Spain team news
Alexia Putellas has won the last two Ballon d’Or Féminin awards, emphasising that she might just be the best player in the world.
However, the Barcelona midfielder made just seven appearances this season, most of which were off the bench, after rupturing her ACL on the eve of the Euros 12 months ago.
Now fully fit, Alexia is set to start here, alongside club teammate Aitana Bonmatí, who’s another start of this side.
Goalkeeper Sandra Paños, one of the ‘las 15′ has been left out of the squad, so 23 year old Misa Rodríguez is under huge pressure to perform.
At the other end of the field, Jenni Hermoso could be their main goal threat, while Esther González is likely to lead the line.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Rodríguez; Batlle, Codina, Andrés, Carmona; Bonmatí, Abelleira, Alexia; Hermoso, Caldentey, González.
Costa Rica teams news
The vast majority of las Ticas’ squad ply their trade domesticly, with three notable exceptions, the trio likely to lead Costa Rica’s attack.
Priscila Chinchilla stared for SWPL champions Glasgow City this season, and she’ll operate in-behind the front two of Bordeaux’s Melissa Herrera and Raquel Rodríguez of Portland Thorns.
Rodríguez will be hoping to add to her 55 international goals this summer, one of which was the equaliser against Spain at the 2015 World Cup, her country’s first-ever goal at the tournament.
Predicted XI (4-4-2): Solera; Guillén, Villalobos, Benavides, del Campo; Valenciano, Villalobos, Alvarado, Chinchilla; Rodríguez, Herrera.