World Cup 2014: Uruguay v Costa Rica match preview

A look ahead to this Saturday’s World Cup fixture at Estadio Castelao

Whilst this fixture will simply be an appetiser to England’s crucial World Cup opener against Italy, it will be a tasty one at that, in what is set to be an interesting encounter. Uruguay will be desperate to get three points and pile the pressure on the two European giants of Group D, whilst Costa Rica will be looking to prove that they can cause a few shocks themselves.

Uruguay come to Brazil having won their two pre-World Cup friendlies, but Costa Rica will draw confidence from their unconvincing 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland. Luis Suarez looks as though he is set to miss out, which is a significant blow for the PFA Player of the Year, but in Edinson Cavani La Celeste have an equally dangerous frontman. The two time winners like to play attacking football, and suited to the South American heat they will provide a difficult test for all of their Group D opponents, as they look to build on their fourth place finish in South Africa.

Costa Rica have only won one game in five since the turn of the year, and don’t come to Brazil in a great deal of form. They do however have the players in their squad who are capable of shocking the Uruguayans, with Bryan Ruiz and the young Joel Campbell likely to cause problems. The Costa Ricans will look to exploit what is a weak Uruguay backline, with Diego Godin their only real stand out defender. Goalkeeper Keylor Navas will no doubt have a major role to play, regarded as one of La Liga’s best stoppers, and will have to deliver an impressive display if he is to keep out Cavani and co, in what will be a tough opening fixture.

 

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 8pm

Bryan Ruiz , formerly of Fulham Bryan Ruiz , formerly of Fulham  

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Uruguay 1 Costa Rica 1, World Cup Play-off, November 2009

Costa Rica 0 Uruguay  1, World Cup Play-off, November 2009

Costa Rica 1 Uruguay 2, Copa America, July 2001

 

STATS…

Costa Rica have never beaten Uruguay in eight attempts. They have lost six times, and drawn twice.

This will be Costa Rica’s fourth appearance at the World Cup finals.

In Costa Rica’s last World Cup in 2006, they lost every single game.

Uruguay have the third oldest squad, with an average age of 28.6.

Costa Rica have no Premier League players in their squad, but Uruguay have three : Luis Suarez of Liverpool, Diego Lugano of West Brom and Gaston Ramirez of Southampton.

Uruguay have only one home based player in their squad.

 

ODDS…

Uruguay to win: 1.44

Costa Rica to win: 9.00

Draw: 4.33

 

TV: Live on ITV 1 at 8pm

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