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Costa Rica vs Germany predictions: Flick's men to find their scoring touch
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Dan Sait
Hansi Flick will be hoping for a big performance from Germany
Hansi Flick will be hoping for a big performance from Germany

- Costa Rica were pummelled 7-0 by Spain and hugely flattered by their 1-0 victory over Japan
- Germany suffered a shock against Japan but then showed their quality against the Spanish
- Recommended bet: Germany to score over 3.5 goals

After both suffered a shock in their opening matches, Costa Rican and German supporters may have feared their World Cup adventures could be over within their first two games in Qatar.

However, Costa Rica's unexpected 1-0 victory over Japan and Germany's impressive 1-1 draw against Spain has fired both back to life and there is now plenty riding on this final Group E clash.

Victory for Germany would likely see them through – Hansi Flick's men will be confident that Spain can do them a favour against Japan – while a Costa Rican success would guarantee the Central Americans reach the knockout stages.

But while the permutations are more complicated for Germany than for Costa Rica, there can surely be only one winner in this do-or-die clash.

Team news

Costa Rica centre-back Francisco Calvo is suspended after picking up two yellow cards but manager Luis Fernando Suarez has an otherwise fully fit and available squad to choose from.

Germany's Leroy Sane recovered from a knee injury to feature off the bench against Spain and could now be recalled into the starting XI ahead of Serge Gnabry.

There is a slight concern over left-back David Raum, who suffered bruised ribs against Spain, and midfielder Leon Goretzka and right-back Thilo Kehrer are also minor injury doubts after training separately from the main group this week. 

The stats 

Luis Fernando Suarez's Costa Rica will need to cause an upset on Thursday if they are to progress
Luis Fernando Suarez's Costa Rica will need to cause an upset on Thursday if they are to progress

Costa Rica's 1-0 win over Japan was their first 90-minute victory in eight World Cup finals matches. They had lost three of the last four and had only scored in one of those matches – a 2-2 draw against Switzerland at the 2018 World Cup. 

However, their victory over the Samurai Blue came strongly against the run of play. Japan put up 0.9 expected goals from 13 shots and three on target, while Los Ticos managed an xG rating of just 0.1 after scoring with their only shot on target – an effort that Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda should have done better with. 

Still, that was an improvement on their performance against Spain. Suarez's men did not manage a single shot against La Roja and had just 19% possession in match where Spain's 7-0 scoreline reflected their utter dominance. 

Germany were good value for their 1-1 draw with the Spanish, however, taking more shots, having more shots on target and recording a higher xG figure of 1.3 to Spain's 0.6. 

Prior to that, they were hugely unlucky to lose 2-1 to Japan, claiming 74% possession and raining in 25 shots and twice hitting the woodwork. Japan scored twice from just four shots on target. 


Germany's defeat to Japan was one of the talking points of the opening round of World Cup matches but Hansi Flick's side dominated that contest and were only undone by a couple of sloppy bits of play and some clinical Japanese finishing.

Complacency was the issue rather than a lack of quality but their focus was sharpened by that upset and Die Nationalmannschaft showed their true ability against Spain, against whom they were arguably the likelier to nick a winner.

Costa Rica are a poor team who were flattered by their victory over Japan as they were second best for almost the entire match.

This meeting with Germany is a significant step up in class and could follow a similar pattern to their opening encounter with Spain. Another 7-0 landslide is unlikely but a lot of the play will be in and around the Costa Rican area – making German penalty-taker Ilkay Gundogan a solid addition to Bet Builder selections – and Flick's men should take their chances this time to win comfortably.

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