Costa Rica vs Nicaragua - Costa Rica set to shut out minnows in Group B
Solid hosts tipped to hold firm in comfortable win over Nicaragua
Costa Rica are set to begin CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign with win against Nicaragua (Getty Images)
Costa Rica vs Nicaragua Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips
Costa Rica are tipped to secure a comfortable victory when they face Nicaragua at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in their opening Group B fixture at the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Nicaragua have failed to record a win in their previous appearances in the competition and are expected to struggle against the joint hosts. I am predicting a win to nil for Costa Rica at odds of 1.66.
Costa Rica Form & Team News
Costa Rica wrapped up their preparations for the Gold Cup with a 1-0 victory over Peru. They had seven attempts on goal but appeared converted just once.
Gustavo Matosas’ men often reach the latter stages of the Gold Cup and were beaten in the semi final in 2017. They are valued at a minimal 1.18 to win on Monday but given Nicaragua's woeful record in the tournament and poor attack, I am backing a win to nil here.
Oscar Duarte and Kendall Watson form a solid partnership at the back and are expected to continue in central defence. Joel Campbell often leads the line for the Costa Ricans and should feature in attack alongside Mayron George.
Nicaragua Form & Team News
Nicaragua were hammered 5-1 by Argentina in their final warm up fixture before the tournament. They went five goals down before Juan Ramon Barrera struck a consolation from the penalty spot on 91 minutes.
Henry Duarte's men have only made two previous appearances in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, crashing out at the group stage on both occasions. They have lost all six matches in the competition, scoring just one goal in the process.
Nicaragua’s poor record in the Gold Cup means they are not favoured to win on Monday at odds of 19.00 while a draw is priced at 6.00. Jorge Betancur is yet to score an international goal but should still start in attack.
Costa Rica vs Nicaragua Head to Head
Costa Rica have a 14-1 advantage with one defeat from 16 previous matches against Nicaragua. The Costa Ricans have claimed wins to nil in five of the last seven meetings, although they were held to a 0-0 draw at the Copa Centroamericana in 2017.
Costa Rica vs Nicaragua Match Up
Oscar Duarte and Kendall Watson have impressed in defence for Costa Rica and will be confident of shutting out the Nicaraguan forward line. The Costa Ricans also have plenty of attacking quality in their team with Joel Campbell and Mayron George.
Nicaragua have failed to score in five of their six previous matches in the Gold Cup and that run is expected to continue on Monday. Jorge Betancur is still seeking his first international goal and is likely to struggle against the Costa Rican defence.
Costa Rica vs Nicaragua Key Statistics
Costa Rica have won 2 of their last 3 matches (CONCACAF Gold Cup).
Costa Rica have kept clean sheets in 6 of their last 7 matches against Nicaragua (all competitions).
Costa Rica have won 14 of their last 16 matches against Nicaragua (all competitions).
Nicaragua have lost their last 6 matches (CONCACAF Gold Cup).
Nicaragua have a poor record in the Gold Cup having lost all six of their matches. They have failed to score in five matches in that run and should struggle against Costa Rica who can win to nil at odds of 1.66.
Best Bet: Costa Rica Win to Nil @ 1.66 at bet365 – 3 Units
Correct Score Tip: Costa Rica Win 2-0 @ 5.50 at bet365 – 1 Unit