1.50 Newbury - Friday
Horse Racing analyst Will Smith has had a good look at all this weekend's ante-post markets, and provides a 7/1 EW selection in the Grade 2 novices' chase at Newbury on Friday.
Spain and Costa Rica go head-to-head in their opening match of the 2022 World Cup with both sides looking to get off to a strong start in Group E.
Both sides head into the game in good form and both have lost just once in the past year. This is a big match for both sides, not just because it is that opening fixture but points picked up in this game would go a long way in helping either side progress to the knock-out stages give that they will have Germany & Japan to play in the days ahead.
As you’d expect, Spain are the strong favourites for the win and are priced very short to do so. Spain were fourth-favourites to go all the way in the tournament, but following the results of recent matches, have dropped down to fifth behind Brazil, France, England and Argentina and are now priced at 10/1 whereas Costa Rica are the longest price team in the competition at best odds of 1000/1.
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Date of Tips: 23/11/2022
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (11:00 23/11/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
There’s no other result than a win for Spain in this game but odd of 1/5 aren’t the most appealing.
If you are having a bet on this game, you’ll be better off looking at other markets than the Match Winner such as HT/FT or a Handicap.
Spain -1 is 11/20 which I think is reasonable considering how short they are just for the win and although friendlies aren’t an accurate measure of ability, Spain did beat Costa Rica 5-0 last time the two teams met, albeit back in 2017.
I’ll be backing Spain to win to nil and so some possible options are:
Spain 2 – 0 Costa Rica would be my prediction for the game. I think Spain have it in them to bag more than two goals in a game like this but as it’s the opening fixture for both sides, they may be happier to just control the game once they have a goal.
Both teams to score is priced at 9/4 and for both not to score is 1/2. Although it’s not a bet I’d actively take up, if I was to, it would be on the shorter odds of the two.
Ferran Torres is the pick of the bunch from the Spanish side in my eyes. The 22-year-old Barcelona forward has found the net 13 times in 30 appearances for his country and could be a player to watch throughout the tournament.
If Spain get a first half goal, I can’t see them giving up their lead. Therefore, odds of 8/13 for Spain/Spin in the HT/FT market looks to have value in my opinion.
I expect Spain to have the majority of the possession and so it’s likely that Costa Rica will be more at risk of committing fouls. However, they’re not a card-heavy side and so I’d back Under 3.5 cards in this game. At a push, I’d even stretch to Under 2.5 cards.
The lineups for Spain vs Costa Rica will be published closer to kick-off.
Spain starting lineup:
Simon; Azpilicueta, Asensio, Laporte, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, Olmo, Gavi; F Torres, Rodri
Costa Rica starting lineup:
Navas; C Martinez, Calvo, Duarte, Oviedo; Tejeda, Bennette, Fuller; Borges, Contreras, Campbell
Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Club), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford FC)
Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea FC), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Eric Garcia (FC Barcelona), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia CF), Pau Torres (Villarreal CF), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia CF).
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona), Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City), Gavi (FC Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris St Germain), Marcos Llorente (Atletico de Madrid), Pedri Gonzalez (FC Barcelona), Koke Resurreccion (Atletico de Madrid).
Forwards: Ferran Torres (FC Barcelona), Nico Williams (Athletic Club), Yeremi Pino (Villarreal CF), Alvaro Morata (Atletico de Madrid), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Pablo Sarabia (Paris St Germain), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Ansu Fati (FC Barcelona).
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas (Paris St-Germain), Esteban Alvarado (Herediano), Patrick Sequeira (CD Lugo).
Defenders: Francisco Calvo (Konyaspor), Juan Pablo Vargas(Millonarios FC), Kendall Waston (Saprissa), Oscar Duarte (Al-Wehda), Daniel Chacon (Colorado Rapids), Keysher Fuller (Herediano), Carlos Martinez (San Carlos), Bryan Oviedo (Real Salt Lake), Ronald Matarrita (Cincinnati).
Midfielders: Yeltsin Tejeda (Herediano), Celso Borges (Alajuelense), Youstin Salas (Saprissa), Roan Wilson (Grecia), Gerson Torres (Herediano), Douglas Lopez (Herediano) Jewisson Bennette (Sunderland), Alvaro Zamora (Saprissa), Anthony Hernandez (Puntarenas FC), Brandon Aguilera (Nottingham Forest), Bryan Ruiz (Alajuelense).
Forwards: Joel Campbell (Leon), Anthony Contreras (Herediano) Johan Venegas (Alajuelense).