England may not be one of the favourites to win this year’s FIFA World Cup this summer, but there is always interest around the globe when the Three Lions take to the pitch. And this Thursday (7 June) Gareth Southgate and his players make their final preparations against Costa Rica at Elland Road.
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England are coming into this match on the back of a 2-1 win over Nigeria this past weekend, and they will be looking to give fans a positive send off before heading to Russia. However, the English put in a poor showing in the second half when Nigeria switched to a back three.
A huge problem has been breaking sides down in recent years. Of course, Costa Rica were drawn in the same group as England at the previous World Cup in Brazil four years ago, with the match ending in a goalless stalemate.
You can bet on a goalless draw on this occasion at 11.00, but given the riches England boast in attack there should be goals in this one. The simplest bet you can make is the outcome of the game – either a win for one side or a tie.
Unsurprisingly, it is England who come into this friendly as the red hot favourites to come away with the victory. England are priced at 1.36 to win, whilst Costa Rica are priced competitively at 9.50. A draw, meanwhile, is at 4.50, according to Oddsshark.
It’s always more difficult to attempt to guess the exact score rather than the general result, but given that England are clear favourites you may well be encouraged to have a go. A 2-1 win for England, for example, is priced at 8.00, and given England’s previous fragility at the back both sides could be on the score sheet before the end of the night.
You can therefore, back both teams to score at a price of 2.10, while a “no” to that outcome is at 1.66. If you really fancy goals in Leeds you can also take a punt on a match which will include over 2,5 goals – that comes in at 1,80 while, again, a “No” to over 2.5 is priced at a straight 2.00, giving you a chance to double your money.
That meeting four years ago is the only time these two sides have met previously, and with less on the line this time around we could see a more open game. But if you think picking a single outcome is too risky you can go for the “Double Chance” option, giving you a chance to hedge your bets and select two outcomes to the match rather than just one.
The price for a draw or an England win is extremely short, at 1.075. For a draw or Costa Rica win the price lengthens to 3,20, while the price to back either side to pick up the win stands at 1.20.
You would surely think that England would come into this World Cup preparation game absolutely brimming with confidence. The Three Lions have won six of their last nine games, and they are also unbeaten during that run of form. Expecting Costa Rica to come away from this game with a win would look unlikely in the extreme.
Costa Rica did get a win last time out against Northern Ireland, but their technical class looks to be a couple of levels below that of their next opponents. In addition, prior to that victory, the side had lost four of their previous five outings, including against Panama and a thrashing at the hands of 2010 World Cup winners Spain.
Southgate’s key improvement to this England side has been their renewed defensive solidity. England have conceded just two goals in their last seven matches and they would look likely to keep a clean sheet in this one as well.
You can back Harry Kane to score and England to win 1-0 at a price of 12.00. Whichever way you look at this one, an England win would appear to be on the cards.Odds: England (1.36), Costa Rica (9.50), draw (4.50)