Our football match prediction:
England failed to impress at EURO 2016, with the team suffering a heart-breaking loss to Iceland in the last 16 of the tournament in France. The Three Lions, though, were producing thrilling displays in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and, as a result, they booked their place at the showpiece tournament in Russia. The likes of Jack Wilshere, Chris Smalling and Joe Hart did not make England World Cup squad, but coach Gareth Southgate has a number of high-profile footballers to choose from. Raheem Sterling is likely to miss the Costa Rica game with injury, but regardless of which players will be deployed in the starting XI, home win should be considered. Los Ticos are not regarded as good travelers and despite the fact that Real Madrid shoot-stopper Keylor Navas has been in a splendid form of late, we predict that Gareth Southgate’s men are going to emerge triumphant in their last warm-up game.
Highlighted Player (Jamie Vardy):
Spending his early career playing no-league football, Jamie Vardy made the headlines when he joined Leicester City in a £1 million deal in 2012, but little did he know that he would go on to become a genuine Premier League star just three years later. The experienced forward helped the Foxes gain promotion to the elite division and then score more than 20 goals as they mounted an unlikely title bid, earning worldwide acclaim as well as a place in the England squad. Vardy went on to score his first two goals for the Three Lions in March 2016 friendlies, with his back-heel goal against Germany in Berlin seeing him instantly become a fans’ favourite. Over the years, Vardy has earned a reputation as a striker who never gives up and can be a real menace for opposition defenders, but his excellent goalscoring record and good link-up play are enough to suggest he can be described as a mix of old-style pacey forwards and modern strikers.
Highlighted Team (Costa Rica):
Los Ticos are administered by the Costa Rican Football Federation and are members of the CONCACAF confederation competing at the international stage since 1921, although it was not until 1927 that they had become the FIFA members. Costa Rica is the most successful national football team in the history of Central America with eight championships and their decorated reputation was upheld in 2014 when the current Central American champions made an imposing impression during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Having reached the quarter-finals, Costa Ricans continue to be a thorn in the side for a many bigger soccer nations. Alvaro Saborio is the most-capped member of the current team captained by Bryan Ruiz, but the most prominent star of the squad is definitely Real Madrid goalkeeper and 2016 Champions League winner Keylor Navas. Arsenal forward Joel Campbell is also a notable player whose 2014 FIFA World Cup performances have been nothing short of impressive.