Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Prediction: Mexico vs Costa Rica

Juan Pablo Aravena in Free Soccer Predictions 28 Jun 2019

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Verdict: Under 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

The 2019 Gold Cup quarterfinals continue this Saturday when two of the top sides in the CONCACAF region go head to head for a place in the semifinals. Mexico have undoubtedly been the top side in the group stage, but they haven’t faced an opponent nearly as good as Costa Rica thus far. Can Los Ticos pull the upset, or will El Tri continue their march towards another title, now under the guidance of Gerardo Martino? Kick-off is scheduled for this Saturday at 02:30 BST.

Mexico

Mexico entered the 2019 Gold Cup as one of the two top candidates along with the United States, and so far they haven’t done anything that would make fans, experts and pundits change that prediction. Los Aztecas began their campaign with a hammering 7-0 win over Cuba, and later cruised their way in a comfortable 3-1 victory over Canada. Their below-par performance against Martinique might have cause some concerns among the fanbase, but Mexico still delivered a 3-2 win as they claimed the top spot in Group A with nine points out of three matches and 13 goals scored against only three conceded. Costa Rica looks like a much tougher opponent on paper, but Mexico are strong enough to compete with any side on the CONCACAF region. They will aim to show it in this match.

Team News

Mexico are close to be at full strength, although Erick Gutierrez remains doubtful.

Gerardo Martino won’t have several regulars available, though. Hirving Lozano, Javier Hernandez and Hector Herrera were not included on the squad due to various reasons.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica have been playing worse and worse after each match, and that could also represent a concern for the coaching staff led by Gustavo Matosas. Los Ticos kicked off their 2019 Gold Cup campaign with a solid 4-0 win over Nicaragua, and later secured a 2-1 victory over Bermuda that pushed them into the next round. However, they lost their remaining group-stage fixture as they suffered a 1-2 defeat against Haiti, and that forced them to play against Mexico instead of meeting a lesser opponent such as Canada. Now it’s the time where Costa Rica must confirm their rise in the CONCACAF region. They have several experienced players such as Bryan Ruiz, Alvaro Saborio, Joel Campbell and Kendall Waston, so they own enough quality to, at least, go toe-to-toe against Mexico. Can they pull the upset and eliminate one of the favourites? Or will they end leaving the tournament without even reaching the semifinals, just like it has happened in three of the tournament’s last four editions?

Team News

Costa Rica have no injuries to report ahead of this match.

They will be missing star goalkeeper Keylor Navas, though. He asked not to be included on the squad so he could sort out where he will play during the 2019-20 season.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Four of Mexico’s last five Gold Cup goals have arrived in the second half.
  • Mexico are currently riding a seven-game winning streak in all competitions.
  • Costa Rica’s recent loss to Haiti (1-2) was their first one since October 2018.
  • Four of Costa Rica’s last five matches have seen them win the first half.
  • Mexico are undefeated in their last five H2H matches against Costa Rica (W3, D2 – counting ET). Three of those matches featured under 2.5 goals, though.

Conclusion

This should be a very even match. Costa Rica will be motivated due to the fact they can pull the upset here. Meanwhile, Mexico will endure their first “real test” in the tournament after cruising their way in the group stage.

I expect this match to be quite tight. Therefore, I believe it will end up with under 2.5 goals scored overall.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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