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Costa Rica national football team
Friendlies 1
Jun 1, 2024 at 3am UK
Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica
Uruguay national football team

Costa Rica
0 - 0

Madrigal (81')

Brasil (72'), Teuten (90+3')

Preview: Costa Rica vs. Uruguay - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's friendly clash between Costa Rica and Uruguay, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Costa Rica host Uruguay at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica on Friday night in a Copa America tune-up game.

Gustavo Alfaro's men were beaten in their last international game in March and seek a response against a La Celeste side not expected to be at full strength.

Match preview

Costa Rica players celebrate with fans after qualifying for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup in June 2022© Reuters

Alfaro's Costa Rica spell seemed to be taking a positive turn, only for Los Ticos to suffer a 3-1 loss to Argentina in a friendly game in March.

The new coach suffered back-to-back losses at the start of his time in charge against Panama in the CONCACAF Nations League quarter-final doubleheader, but those defeats were followed by victories against El Salvador (2-0) and Honduras (3-1).

Hosting Uruguay allows the Ticos to secure a positive result and build momentum in time for their Copa America opener against Brazil on June 25.

Unlike most, Costa Rica play competitive games before the continental showpiece begins, with La Tricolor playing two World Cup qualifying matches against St Kitts and Nevis and Grenada on June 6 and 9 before the fortnight of preparation in the lead-up to meeting the South American giants on the 25th.

It remains to be seen if Alfaro's men are motivated for Friday's match against a local Uruguay side, but the Ticos seek to nick the needed result to get back on the right path.

Uruguay coach Marcelo Bielsa before the match on November 17, 2023© Reuters

They should back themselves against the visitors, who are expected to be without Marcelo Bielsa at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica.

Diego Perez — the nation's interim Under-20 manager — is expected to lead a local side seeking international football experience before Bielsa names his squad for the finals.

Bielsa suffered a 2-1 loss to Ivory Coast in March, with the African champions inflicting the experienced manager's second loss since taking over last year.

While Friday's result should not add any gloss or affect the 68-year-old's win-loss record, securing a positive result after losing to Africa's best side months back will be what the doctor ordered for the South American nation.

Having scored in every game since firing blanks in their 2-0 loss to Portugal in the 2022 World Cup, Uruguay will look forward to Friday's game, even if it will be with a less-fancied group.

Costa Rica form (all competitions):

Uruguay form (all competitions):

Team News

Costa Rica's Kendall Waston celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on November 9, 2022© Reuters

It remains to be seen if nine-goal-in-16 Steven Cardenas plays from the off, having scored his goals in 12 starts.

Jefferson Brenes and Orlando Galo may start in the middle of the park for Alfaro's men and the partnership could be flanked by Warren Madrigal and Alvaro Zamora.

Keylor Navas recently retired from the national team, explaining the goalkeeper's absence.

Uruguay's approach to take on Costa Rica with local players means that none of Sergio Araujo, Jose Maria Gimenez, Manuel Ugarte, Rodrigo Bentancur or Darwin Nunez will be seen on Friday.

Federico Valverde's Champions League participation with Real Madrid rules out the box-to-box midfielder against Los Ticos.

Costa Rica possible starting lineup:
Chamorro; Taylor, Faerron, Sequeira, Calvo, Mora; Madrigal, Galo, Brenes, Zamora; Ugalde

Uruguay possible starting lineup:
Silveira; Furtado, Allala, Brasil, Teuten; Bernal, Cartagena, Amado; Acosta, Damiani, Gomez

SM words green background

We say: Costa Rica 1-0 Uruguay

With Uruguay not at full power and Costa Rica expected to utilise most of their leading players, the Central American side should nick a marginal victory against a hodgepodge team managed by Perez.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez during the match on March 30, 2022
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Group A

Q Germany Germany22006
2 Switzerland Switzerland21104
3 Scotland flag Scotland20111
4 Hungary Hungary20020

Group B

Q Spain Spain22006
2 Italy Italy21013
3 Albania national flag Albania20111
4 Croatia Croatia20111

Group C

1 England flag England21104
2 Denmark Denmark20202
3 Slovenia Slovenia20202
4 Serbia Serbia20111

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands21104
2 France France21104
3 Austria Austria21013
4 Poland Poland20020

Group E

1 Romania Romania11003
2 Ukraine Ukraine21013
3 Slovakia Slovakia21013
4 Belgium Belgium10010

Group F

1 Turkey Turkey11003
2 Portugal Portugal11003
3 Czech Republic Czech Republic20111
4 Georgia Georgia20111

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