The final group game in Group D between Costa Rica and England will be played today. Although it’s a dead rubber there will be a lot to play for as far as both teams are concerned.
For Costa Rica, they will be looking to continue the good form that has seen them all but top the group and in doing so beat two top ten ranked nations. Regardless of tomorrow’s result they will have qualified from the group.
As for England, they have never been knocked out of a World Cup with no points next to their name. They will no doubt be looking to restore some pride when the meet Costa Rica before bowing out of the competition.
Not that there are any excuses but it can be said that England are going through a transitional period with a new look team including several World Cup debutants in that of Ross Barkley, Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, Phil Jagielka, and Jack Wilshere, just to name a few.
They put in a good performance against Italy without getting a result but weren’t great in their game against Uruguay and several lapses in defense cost them badly. When you look at England’s overall performance in the 2014 World Cup, their defense has been their biggest weakness.
England’s coach Roy Hodgson is making some huge changes to the team that took the field against Uruguay. Clearly unhappy with the performance, the only two players not to have been sidelined are Sturridge and Cahill. Frank Lampard will captain the team.
Costa Rica certainly have earned their right to qualify to the knockout stages of the tournament. England are even money by the bookmakers to win this game. It is the first time both nations have met. Given that there have been so many changes with the England squad an even money bet doesn’t seem like a lot of value. It is hard to look past Costa Rica winning this game @ 3/1 at William Hill.