Spain begin their 2022 World Cup with a clash against Costa Rica.
2010 winners Spain kick off their Qatar 2022 journey with a game against Costa Rica.
They are managed by former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique and have a host of eye-catching players in their squad such as Pedri, Koke and Marco Asensio. The days of Xavi, Iker Casillas and Andres Iniesta are long gone and it’s a new era for the Spanish national team – they enter tournaments these days with an air of uncertainty about them.
They have a tough group and will also have to face the powerful Germany and Japan, who fall into the category of a team that will be looking to be one of the surprise forfeits. After winning in South Africa 12 years ago now, Spain’s last two World Cups have ended in failure. They were knocked out of the group in Brazil in 2014 and lost on penalties to hosts Russia in the round of 16 in 2018.
As for Costa Rica, they will be eager to make a splash this year. They are led by former Fulham playmaker Bryan Ruiz and have also called up former Sunderland left-back Bryan Oviedo and winger Joel Campbell, who spent time at Arsenal in the Premier League. The South Americans have played in the last four World Cups but only dropped out of the group once.
When is Spain vs Costa Rica?
Spain will play its first match on Wednesday 23 November against Costa Rica. The last meeting between the pair was a friendly in 2017, with Spain winning 5-0.
How to watch Spain vs Costa Rica
ITV will broadcast the Spain v Costa Rica match live in the UK. Preparation for the match begins at 15:50 GMT. It can also be streamed on the ITV website or through their app on mobile/tablet devices.
Where is the Spain-Costa Rica match?
Spain vs Costa Rica will take place at Al Thumama Stadium. The stadium is located in Al Thumama, Doha, and holds 44,400 seats.
Road to the tournament
Spain finished top of their group in qualifying, so they will be confident. They have collected 19 points from eight goals with Barcelona winger Ferran Torres their top scorer in four. The country has now qualified for 12 consecutive World Cups.
Costa Rica became the last team to qualify for Qatar 2022. This was after beating New Zealand 1-0 in a confederation clash, courtesy of Joel Campbell’s winner. They won one in their first seven qualifying games, but won seven in their last eight.
What to expect from Spain against Costa Rica?
Spain are rightly favorites after winning their qualifying group. They’re not the great team they used to be and have failed in the last few years on the big stage – they just really need a decent striker, basically. Costa Rica will relish their chances of getting a result, especially with their recent return to form. After all, Saudi Arabia’s victory over Argentina shows that anything is possible.
Spain vs Costa Rica Team News
The Spanish side’s surprise omission was PSG defender Sergio Ramos, meaning he’s not at the tournament. Left-back Jose Gaya was forced out, with Barcelona’s Alejandro Balde taking his place. Costa Rica have no new injury worries to deal with experienced keeper Keylor Navas, who made his debut in 2008 almost certain to start between the sticks.