2010 world champions Spain will kick off their World Cup campaign in Group E with a game against Costa Rica just hours after the kick off in the match between Japan and Germany in the other Group E battle.
Spain managed to make it to the Euro 2020 semi-finals last summer and were unlucky not to make it past Italy by losing on penalties. At the World Cup in 2018, Spain narrowly finished top of their group after a stunning 2-2 draw with Portugal, a 1-0 win over Iran and a 2-2 draw with Morocco where Alvaro Morata secured knockout status in the last few seconds. Spain were then beaten by Russia on penalties.
That poor World Cup, heartbreak at the Euros and now with young players mixing with experienced heads under the leadership of Luis Enrique, there is now a lot of pressure on Spain.
Costa Rica managed to beat Nigeria 2-0 just under a week ago in a warmup game. Oscar Duarte scored after just seven minutes, before Kendall Watson netted later on in the second half. They are also coming into this with a loss to Panama and a win over Martinique in the CONCACAF Nations League, while also defeating Uzbekistan in a friendly and drawing with South Korea in the September internationals.
Costa Rica also beat New Zealand in the World Cup qualifiers final to get into this one and despite some promising form, Spain should stroll to a victory here.