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World Cup Fantasy Preview: Costa Rica

Underdogs of the group they may be expected to lose all three but a solid defence and pacey attack gives them hope.

England final group opponents will no doubt make it awkward.
England final group opponents will no doubt make it awkward.
Mark Kolbe

Goalkeepers:

Keylor Navas (Levante), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense) Daniel Cambronero (Herediano).

Defenders:

Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus Crew), Michael Umana (Saprissa), Oscar Duarte (Bruges), Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew), Heiner Mora (Saprissa), Junior Diaz (Mainz 05), Christian Gamboa (Rosenborg), Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls).

Midfielders:

Celso Borges (AIK), Christian Bolanos (Copenhagen), Esteban Granados (Herediano), Michael Barrantes (Aalesund), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa), Diego Calvo (Valerenga), Jose Miguel Cubero (Herediano).

Forwards:

Bryan Ruiz (PSV Eindhoven, on loan from Fulham), Joel Campbell (Olympiakos, on loan from Arsenal), Randall Brenes (Cartagines), Marco Urena (FC Kuban Krasnodar).

Fantasy players to watch

I'm going to be cruel but realistic here.  The group is so tough that one surprise result will not be enough for Costa Rica to progress so just the two picks.

Bryan Ruiz

Ruiz is the team's star player.  A talented forward who just fails to show this consistently.  Will be on set plays and may be a danger in any game.  England have a habit of making players who look average in the Premier League look good but lets hope not this time.

Joel Campbell

An Arsenal player who has played the season at Olympiacos where he has been successful.  Scorer against Manchester United in the Champions League Campbell is fast, very fast.  He seems unlikely to return to Arsenal this summer and perhaps a season loan to one of the smaller Premier Clubs would suit him.  With teams pushing up on them Campbell with him plenty of space to make a name for himself.

Conclusions

On paper the wooden spoon team of the group but they have caused shocks in the World Cup before.  Holding Uruguay to a draw in game one would be nice of them.  They are however a well drilled defensive counter attacking team and capable of punishing any side lacking respect.


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