Spain begin their World Cup campaign against Costa Rica on Wednesday afternoon looking to take control of Group E
Spain have not been to a major tournament final since they won two European Championships and a World Cup between 2008 and 2012. That disappointing run of tournament results has carried on too long and this World Cup presents an opportunity to turn things around.
Despite not having the same level of talent as the glory years, the Spanish people will be hopeful that this crop of young talent can carry the nation on their shoulders.
Costa Rica may not be the consensus pick to go far in Qatar but they have a resilience about them that could be vital. They have caused an upset on the biggest stage before, in 2014 when they reached the World Cup quarter final and they will believe they can do it again.
Form coming into the World Cup
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Spain vs Costa Rica players to watch
Pedri is one of the brightest talents in World football and he is absolutely key to whatever Spain can achieve in Qatar.
His tireless running and ability to dominate the midfield is a major part of how Spain approach the game. The Barcelona man has been a vital addition to an aging Spain midfield and will be one of the best players in Qatar
Alvaro Morata has had an inconsistent career for Spain but at his best, he is a quality goal scorer. Spain have lacked a proven goalscorer in the mould of a David Villa or Fernando Torres and have experimented with several options in recent years.
Morata will likely be the first choice option to lead the line for Luis Enrique and he will need to find his form in front of goal for Spain to stand a chance
In terms of big names in Costa Rica, they do not come any bigger than Keylor Navas. He is still the biggest Costa Rican player in world football.
The three-times Champions League winner with Real Madrid has not been played at all for PSG this season because of Gianluigi Donnarumma but appears to have lost none of his sharp reflexes when on duty with Costa Rica.
Luis Enrique has performed a lot better than people give him credit for. Spain have been one of the final four teams standing in the last three tournaments they’ve competed in – two Nations Leagues and Euro 2020.
Enrique will be leading a very young Spain team with the hopes of the entire nation on their shoulders
Colombian Luis Fernando Suarez will be coaching his third side at the World Cup after leading Ecuador to the knockout stages in 2006 and guiding Honduras to the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
He took over a Costa Rican side that had gone 11 consecutive games without a win and he had a rough start. However, he galvanized the country with a fantastic run, collecting 19 of their final 21 possible points to get into the playoffs,
Spain vs Costa Rica Head to Head
Spain vs Costa Rica prediction
Spain have struggled for goals in recent games and the trend should continue here. Spain to win 1-0