World Cup 2014 Group D – Costa Rica

Outright odds: 4000/1

To win group: 50/1

To qualify: 10/1

 

Full squad: Keilor Navas (Levante), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense), Daniel Cambronero (Herediano), Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus Crew), Michael Umana (Saprissa), Oscar Duarte (Club Bruges), Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew), Heiner Mora (Saprissa), Junior Diaz (Mainz 05), Cristian Gamboa (Rosenborg), Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls), Celso Borges (AIK Stockholm), Christian Bolanos (FC Copenhagen), Oscar Esteban Granados (Herediano), Michael Barrantes (Aalesund), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa), Diego Calvo (Valerenga Oslo), Jose Miguel Cubero (Herediano), Bryan Ruiz (PSV Eindhoven), Joel Campbell (Arsenal/Olympiakos), Randall Brenes (Cartagines), Marco Urena (FC Kuban Krasnodar)

 

Manager: Jorge Luis Pinto

 

World Cup record: Last 16 (1990), Group stage (2002, 2006)

 

 

No team at the World Cup wants an injury to a key player but some can proabaly afford them more than others and after being drawn in one of the toughest sections of the tournament, Costa Rica’s losing one player would be harsh but they’ve lost three of their most crucial players.

 

 

Bryan Oviedo will be a name familiar with most Everton fans, the left back having given the Toffees their first win in over a decade at Old Trafford, as he filled in superbly for would have been group rival Leighton Baines early in the season, but a broken leg has ruled him out of proceedings and robs Costa Rica of a fantastic outlet.

 

 

Rodney Wallace of Portland Timbers would also probably have made the first eleven, so his absence is a big issue and robs them of much needed pace out wide, and Alvaro Saborio’s broken foot just two weeks ago compounds those two absences. The Real Salt Lake Striker scored eight goals during qualifying, 5 more than any other player for Costa Rica, and has 32 goals in 93 internationals.

 

 

They can still call on the promising Arsenal starlet Joel Campbell, who impressed for Olympiakos on loan this season in the Greek and Champions League with 8 league goals, and also added three goals in qualifying. Bryan Ruiz – who added three goals to the tally in qualifying – will also be familiar to English fans, having played and impressed for Fulham before moving to PSG where he looked to have recovered some of his best form based on some promising displays, although outside of him the quality seems bare.

 

Keylor Navas has a superb season in La Liga for Levante but outside of left back Junior Diaz, experience at a high level looks limited and he only had 20 league appearances this season. Michael Umana and Christian Gamboa play for Saprissa and Rosenborg respectively while Cleso Borges had only 120 league appearances for ALK Solna, Yestin Tejada also plays for Sapirssa and Christian Bolanos’s Copengahen look well short of the required standard and this could be a struggle.

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