Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Prediction: Scotland v Costa Rica

Ashley Randall in Free Soccer Predictions 22 Mar 2018

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Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: Bet 365

Alex McLeish will open his second spell of Scotland manager on Friday night with a home clash against Costa Rica at Hampden Park. We make our prediction on the friendly match.

Scotland

A new dawn has begun for Scotland following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. In truth, the Tartan Army were unlucky not to make it to this year’s tournament, missing out on goal difference.  It’s now up to Alex McLeish to take over the reins from Gordon Strachan – a full 11 years after his first stint at the club. The rebuilding begins with Friday’s match as the Tartan Army aim on qualifying for Euro 2020. The former Birmingham City manager has opted for a largely youthful and inexperience side, in truth, and there are eight players looking to make their debut. Scotland have only scored nine goals between the entire squad which could be a concern. It may be a priority for McLeish to start building his team from the back, and he may focus on his defence initially. Don’t be surprised to see a tight game against Costa Rica, and maybe a lack of fluidity due to his team’s lack of experience.

Team News

McLeish has plenty of players hoping to make their debut, with Jon McLaughlin, Scott McKenna, Barry Douglas, and Scott McTominay called upon.

Russell Martin, Dylan McGeouch, and Kieran Tierney have been forced to withdraw due to injury.

Costa Rica

Even though Costa Rica did well to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, they limped over the line. Oscar Ramirez’s men would have hoped for good form heading into the tournament. However, a 1-0 loss in Hungary made it five games without a win, scoring just three times in the process. Away from home, the visitors have only won twice in their last nine games. Costa Rica will be well aware they have a difficult task ahead of them if they’re to progress from the group stage in the summer. Brazil, Serbia, and Russia all stand in their way, however, Ramirez will be hoping will want to prepare in the best way possible. The difference between Costa Rica and Scotland is the fact they have core players in their squad that have been together a long time. They also have quality in the form of Real Madrid goalkeeper Jesus Navas, and former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz, who may just be the difference.

Team News

Arsenal forward Joel Campbell, who is on loan at Real Betis, hasn’t made the squad due to an ankle injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • This will only be the second meeting between the two teams, with Costa Rica winning 1-0 in their previous clash at the 1990 World Cup
  • Ramirez’s men have lost their last three matches by an aggregate score of 1-8
  • Scotland have lost just one of their last nine home games, winning four and drawing four
  • McLeish’s boys are winless in their last four friendlies (D1 L3)
  • Costa Rica have only scored three times in their previous five games

Conclusion

This has the makings of a tight game with either team capable of snatching victory. We’re going to back under 2.5 goals.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: Bet 365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashley Randall


Ash is a freelance football writer who lives, breathes and dreams the beautiful game. A lifelong Wolverhampton Wanderers season ticket holder, if he isn't at Molineux then he will be watching any game on television that he can set his eyes on. Producing work for various football websites and publications, Ash has also written for regional newspapers and global magazines.

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