Costa Rica vs England: Team News, Lineups, Facts, Preview & Prediction

Costa Rica vs England preview

The clash with Costa Rica was expected to be a springboard for England to march into the knockout stages of the World Cup. Instead, the match has proven to be a farewell game for world football’s perennial underachievers and a parting occasion for Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who is expected to captain the side against Group D’s only undefeated team.

The match represents an opportunity for some of England’s future stars to get some World Cup action under their belt as Hodgson looks to build a side for the Euros in France in a couple of years time. Against the tournament’s surprise package at the Estadio Mineirao, Hodgson says he will be picking players who have had minimal opportunities so far, which could open the door for the likes of Ross Barkley, James Milner and Rickie Lambert.

“I’m going to be picking (the team) with a view that all the players who are with us get some minutes on the field,” Hodgson was quoted by skysports.

“I will be changing the team to give others a chance to show what they can do. It’s not purely planning for the future and not purely sentiment.”

Leighton Baines is set to miss out with a groin injury, and Manchester United target Luke Shaw could get his first taste of the World Cup on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is all set to miss out once again after the knee injury he picked up against Ecuador has soured what could have been a promising tournament for the Arsenal youngster. There is much speculation about Steven Gerrard calling time on his international career, but any decision will be made after the World Cup.

Costa Rica were dubbed as the World Cup’s “whipping boys” after being drawn in a group comprising three former World champions, but Jorge Luis Pinto’s team have humbled Uruguay and Italy with their refreshing brand of football and few would put it past them beating an England side who simply can’t buy a result at this point in time. Fulham’s Brian Ruiz and Arsenal’s Joel Campbell could well be rested as assistant manager Paulo Wanchope says that they will be giving the fringe players an opportunity to “see how they fit into the system”.

Costa Rica vs England Facts:

  • England’s defeats by Uruguay and Italy in Group D means they are eliminated in the first phase of a World Cup for the first time since the 1958 tournament in Sweden.
  • Costa Rica’s two wins against those same two teams have taken them out of the group stage for only the second time in their World Cup history. In 1990, they went through thanks to wins over Scotland and Sweden in the first round.
  • Costa Rica are the fourth CONCACAF opponents England have faced in the World Cup after the United States (twice), Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago.
  • The United States were the only one of those the “Three Lions” failed to beat, having lost 1-0 here in Brazil in 1950 and drawn 1-1 in 2010. The other two teams, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago, were defeated 2-0 in 1966 and 2006 respectively.

Facts compiled by uk.eurosport.yahoo.com

Costa Rica vs England Predicted Lineups:

Costa Rica: Pemberton; Acosta, Miller, Diaz, Francis; Barrantes, Calvo, Granados, Tejeda; Urena, Brenes

England: Hart; Jones, Smalling, Cahill, Shaw; Lampard, Wilshere; Lallana, Barkley, Rooney; Lambert.

Costa Rica vs England Prediction:

England have played better than the results have reflected. They were bitterly unlucky not to get something out of the Italy fixture and their overall play merited far more than a late heartbreak against Uruguay. There’s so much expectation on the likes of Shaw, Barkley and Lallana and Roy would be hoping that the youngsters on which the nation has pinned their hopes on can ensure a positive farewell as he looks to build a side for Euro 2016.

England nick it 2-1 for me!

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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