Both Costa Rica and Germany are walking the tightrope between qualification and elimination ahead of their matchday three tussle and with their World Cup futures in the balance, this evening’s clash between them should make for gripping viewing.
Nothing but a victory will get Die Mannschaft over the line in Group E, though Costa Rica could make the cut with a draw if Spain beat Japan in the evening’s other game. Can Los Ticos make the World Cup’s knockout stage for only the third time in their history?
If you’re planning on putting a bet builder together for Costa Rica’s clash with Germany, you’ll want to check out the array of statistics laid out below. If you want the inside track on how to best use the info, make sure to read my Stats Pack Guide first.
Costa Rica’s World Cup qualification push was built on solid defensive foundations, however, after conceding just 0.57 goals per 90 in South America, they were blitzed on matchday one by a rampant Spanish outfit (7-0).
Los Ticos bounced back in typically determined style with a win over Japan on matchday two, though they recorded an xG of just 0.13 en route to victory. Indeed, Costa Rica have been averaging just 2.0 attempts per 90 minutes in Qatar – making them the tournament’s least-threatening team so far.
Luis Fernando Suárez’s side were admirably disciplined during their qualifiers, though Costa Rica have collected five yellow cards in just 180 minutes of football in Qatar.
Germany’s underlying attacking stats during their successful qualification jaunt were outstanding and to their credit, they’ve kept their standards high in Qatar despite a couple of mixed overall results.
Die Mannschaft have been clocked more shots per 90 (18.5) than any other team in the tournament, while only Brazil and Argentina have notched more attempts on target.
The Germans’ xG against in Qatar (1.42 p/90) has been almost double the size of their World Cup qualification figure in the same metric however, and their defensive work hasn’t been passing the eye test either.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Anthony Contreras (3.16) and Joel Campbell (2.02) were among the most productive Costa Rican players in the shooting department during the World Cup qualification phase, though nobody has really taken up the mantle for Los Ticos in Qatar.
Campbell, Gerson Torres, Keysher Fuller and the suspended Francisco Calvo all mustered one attempt each against Japan on matchday two – though that’s been the entire extent of Costa Rica’s attacking endeavours at the World Cup.
With all 11 Costa Rican players expected to camp in their own half this evening, it might be best to stick to the German team for shot market candidates.
Serge Gnabry, Ilkay Gundogan, Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane were listed among Germany’s most potent players in the attempts arena during qualification fixtures, though the first two members of that quartet could be worth more of your focus today.
Gnabry and Gundogan have been hitting 4.16 and 3.33 shots per 90 respectively in Qatar, though it might also be worth saving space on your coupon for the mesmeric Jamal Musiala too (2.14).
Elsewhere, Joshua Kimmich (3.00) has also been making his presence felt in the final third at the World Cup and the midfielder could be a deft inclusion at longer odds.
Player Goals and Assists
Keysher Fuller’s 81st-minute winner against Japan on matchday two was Costa Rica’s first and only goal at the World Cup so far. Celso Borges, Joel Campbell, Anthony Contreras and Bryan Ruiz – who all netted twice in qualification matches – haven’t had much of a sniff in Qatar.
Costa Rica scored in 90% of their final ten matches in the lead-up to the 2022 World Cup, though their appetite for attacking seems to have abandoned them in Qatar and none of their players look like decent options in the goal or assist markets today.
You get the sense that a string of German players will be lining up around the block to write their name on the scoresheet today, however, the only goals they’ve registered in Qatar have come from the spot and the bench.
A German starter will hope to score from open play for the first time at the 2022 World Cup this evening. Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller, who bagged eight goals in qualifiers, will be determined to open their accounts in Qatar. Germany’s designated penalty kick taker, Ilkay Gundogan, could be an option for bettors chasing bigger prices.
Costa Rica Cards
Francisco Calvo has been Costa Rica’s hardest hitter in Qatar but even with the suspended defender off our table of options, there are sluggers elsewhere to consider.
At 34, Celso Borges (1.41 fouls per 90) finds it tough to cover ground in midfield and is prone to a cynical tackle or two to compensate. To his right, Keysher Fuller (1.2 fouls p90) won’t be short on defensive tasks to tend to down the right flank.
Veteran fullback Bryan Oviedo meanwhile, has committed two fouls in Qatar and the 32-year-old won’t relish trying to match Serge Gnabry for pace.
Jamal Musiala was Germany’s most-fouled player during qualifiers and the schemer’s twinkling feet have already been stepped on six times in Qatar. Costa Rica’s Fuller will be right in his face this evening.
Leon Goretzka (fouled four times) likes to pull the strings more centrally and the 27-year-old could have his passing puppetry interrupted by Borges. On the right flank, Serge Gnabry’s searing pace could be too hot for Oviedo to handle. Gnabry has already been fouled twice at the World Cup, though that count could soar today.
Match-Ups to watch
Bryan Oviedo vs Serge Gnabry
Keysher Fuller vs Jamal Musiala
Celso Borges vs Leon Goretzka
Germany had three players booked against Spain on matchday two which means Thilo Kehrer, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich on the suspension risk list today.
Unfortunately for that trio, who have committed eight fouls between them in Qatar, they lead the rundown of Germany’s best card candidates again this evening.
Kehrer, Goretzka and Kimmich all share a combative streak and the Costa Rican players will be aiming to whisk up some skirmishes with them at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Forward Joel Campbell has spent a lot of time in midfield areas in Qatar and the 30-year-old has been fouled a massive eight times as a consequence. His deeper position should place him in waters patrolled by Germany’s Kimmich today.
Gerson Torres has also been fouled a shin-splintering eight times at the World Cup and the left winger will be out to draw ill-timed challenges from German right-back Kehrer this evening. Yeltsin Tejeda (fouled twice in Qatar) meanwhile, could be engaged by the aggressive Leon Goretzka in middle in another head-to-head with card potential.
Match-Ups to watch
Thilo Kehrer vs Gerson Torres
Leon Goretzka vs Yeltsin Tejeda
Joshua Kimmich vs Joel Campbell