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  • 29 February 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff (Caerdydd)
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 23000

Wales - Costa Rica Preview: Hosts paying tribute to Gary Speed with friendly

Wales - Costa Rica Preview: Hosts paying tribute to Gary Speed with friendly

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The life of the former Newcastle man, who died in November, will be celebrated in a match with the side whom he made his international debut against in 1990



Matthews, Collins, Williams, Gunter
Ledley, Allen, Crofts
Bellamy, Morison, Bale

Costa Rica

Umana, Diaz, Miller, Oviedo
Azofeifa, Tejeda, Wallace, Barrantes
Ruiz, Campbell

Aaron Ramsey has dropped out of the Wales squad after picking up an ankle injury in Arsenal's FA Cup loss to Sunderland.

Back-up keeper Boaz Myhill (Achilles) is also a doubt for the home side.

Costa Rica's prolific striker Alvaro Saborio is not available for the friendly after the Real Salt Lake man suffered a knee injury in an MLS game against LA Galaxy.

  • Costa Rica were the chosen opponents for this match in memory of the late Gary Speed because they were the side he made his international debut against in 1990.
  • Speed's debut against Costa Rica finished with Wales winning 1-0.
  • Costa Rica are unbeaten in their last three games against Spain, Cuba and Venezuela.
  • Wales have won five of their last six matches, only falling to beat England.
  • During Speed's spell as manager of Wales they moved from 117th to 45th in the Fifa World Rankings, claiming the title of best movers at the end of 2011.
  • Craig Bellamy is Wales' 5th top scorer only nine goals short of all-time leader Ian Rush.
  • This is manager Jorge Luis Pinto's second stint in charge of Costa Rica after a short spell in 2004-2005.
  • Costa Rica legend Paolo Wanchope is now assistant manager of the national side.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ 29 Feb 2012 Wales 0 - Costa Rica 1
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Players to Watch
Craig Bellamy
Craig Bellamy
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Liverpool striker was heavily rocked by the news of Gary Speed's death back in November and is likely to put his all into this friendly in memory of his former team-mate.

Aside from this he has been in fine form for his club and in Wales' final run of games in 2011, most notably in the 1-0 defeat to England.
J. Campbell
J. Campbell
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 12
Games Goals YC RC
3 1 0 0
Although the 19-year-old is not as well known in England as strike partner Bryan Ruiz he will soon be if he keeps up performances like he put in during Costa Rica's 2-2 draw with Spain.

The striker who is currently on-loan at Lorient from Arsenal has shown glimpses of brilliance during his time in the French league, and this friendly may be a chance to showcase his talents to a British audience.
Wales looked to be gelling well as a team under Gary Speed and any new manager would hope to find it easy to keep that ethos going with a wealth of young players.

The home advantage will also play a part, with a good crowd set to turn out in force in memory of a well-loved icon of Welsh football.
Editor's Prediction
Wales 3

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