Scotland v Costa Rica Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
March 19, 2018
Hampden Park - International Friendly
Alex McLeish's Scotland host Costa Rica this weekend, looking to get over a disappointing end to their World Cup qualification campaign. Costa Rica will be sitting pretty in Group E come June, but will need to be at their best as they will be competing with South-American rivals, Brazil.
The two sides have met just once, at the 1990 Italy World Cup. Drawn together in the group stages, a goal from Juan Cayasso decided the match in Costa Rica's favour, playing against a side that featured the current Scotland boss!
Kieran Tierney and Russel Martin look set to miss both of Scotland's friendlies, although both may be fit to return with the resumption of club football. McLeish has handed call-ups to six new players including Scott McTominay, Jon McLaughlin, Barry Douglas, Dylan McGeouch, Oli McBurnie and Scott McKenna. Ryan Fraser looks set to stay with the squad, despite a back injury.
Oscar Ramirez has called up seven players from the MLS in an attempt to finalise his World Cup squad. Stalwarts Kaylor Navas and Bryan Ruiz both make the squad alongside some new faces such as Ulises Segura.
Scotland v Costa Rica Preview and Predictions
Scott Brown's retirement from international football has left a void in the Scotland team, and filling it must be a priority for McLeish with Euro 2020 qualifications fast approaching. Friday's game will be their first without the former captain, and the manager will surely be using it to identify his successor.
One such option is McTominay, the Manchester United youngster having filled a similar, combative, defensive-midfield role in the past few months. Alongside Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson and Aberdeen centre-back Scott McKenna, McLeish has a number of exciting young prospects, who fans will hope to see play against Costa Rica.
Ramirez's side will be no pushovers however, having earned second place in the CONCAF World Cup qualifiers, demolishing the USA on the way. Celtic right-back Cristian Gamboa is certainly no stranger to Scottish football, although has barely featured for Brendon Rodger's team this season. The defender, alongside Sunderland's Bryan Oviedo and former Fulham midfielder Bryan Ruiz will be prepared for the physically demanding task of facing Scotland at Hampden Park.
Josue Mitchell to score first at 7/1.
The centre-forward is in fine form, with 14 goals in all competitions this season.
Both teams to score at 10/11.
This game is about experimentation for both sides, so expect a few defensive errors.