England Can Head to Russia After Beating Costa Rica
It’s the final dress rehearsal tonight when England play Costa Rica in their last friendly before the real action begins in the 2018 World Cup. The fixture at Elland Road in Leeds could be a chance for Gareth Southgate to field his strongest team or give the fringe players a chance. The England manager could play it both ways by sending out his best 11 in the first half and giving the second string a chance after the break. In any case a team selected from the World Cup squad should record a comfortable home win against Costa Rica before leaving for Russia. ENGLAND -1 can be backed at 23/20 with Coral.
Costa Rica won England’s group in Brazil in 2014. Roy Hodgson’s teams played quite well in defeat against Italy and Uruguay but two defeats meant England were out of the World Cup after eight days. The third fixture against Costa Rica was an abysmal effort which was replicated against Iceland in the European Championships in 2016. Both teams have scored in just three of Costa Rica’s last 12 fixtures. They are at number 25 in the FIFA rankings, 12 places above England. The most logical outcome is ENGLAND TO WIN TO NIL and that outcome is 19/20.
England scored four goals in six internationals before beating Nigeria 2-1 on Saturday at Wembley. There was enough in the first half to suggest England can beat Tunisia and Panama in their first two Group matches and then the meeting with Belgium becomes the group decider. Potentially England could play Senegal or Poland in the last 16 and then lose to Germany on penalties in the quarter-finals. THE LAST 8 is 11/5 with bet365 in the stage of elimination market.
There is an evening meeting on the first day of the tournament when there is no World Cup action. ITV will broadcast the fixture from Newcastle on June 29th and hopefully by then England will still be in the World Cup. Its all Flat racing today at six meetings in Britain and Ireland and Leopardstown stages easily the most lucrative fixture. There are two listed races of which the 12 furlongs contest at 7.55 is the most interesting. On ratings the Aidan O’Brien trained GIUSEPPE GARIBALDI is the horse to back at 7/4 with William Hill.