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

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015