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Costa Rica vs Qatar prediction, preview, team news and more | International Friendly 2020

Keylor Navas has been called up for Costa Rica
Keylor Navas has been called up for Costa Rica's friendly clash against Qatar
Mihir Gawade
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 11 Nov 2020, 16:51 IST
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Costa Rica will face Qatar in an international friendly match on Friday at the Hartberg Stadium in Austria.

Although the game is scheduled to be played at a neutral venue, Costa Rica are the official home team for the fixture.

Costa Rica were sunk by Abdiel Ayarza goals in both their matches against Panama in last month's round of international friendlies and have lost all three of their games this year; a streak they will be desperate to end.

Qatar were taken apart by Ghana last month, losing 5-1 in what was their first fixture since their Gulf Cup defeat in December 2019. Felix Sanchez Bas' side will aim to get back to winning ways as soon as possible in the run-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which the nation will host.

This should be an exciting game between an offensive Qatar side, influenced by the legendary Xavi's footballing ideals, and a Costa Rica team that have a disciplined defensive unit but struggle to score many goals.


Costa Rica vs Qatar head-to-head

This is the first time in their history that the two nations will meet each other on a football field.

Costa Rica have managed only one win their last six fixtures and are yet to score a goal in an official game this year.

Meanwhile, Qatar's biggest concern will be their lack of match practice as a unit; evident in the drubbing the side faced against Ghana.

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Costa Rica form: W-D-L-L-L

Qatar form: L-W-W-L-L


Costa Rica vs Qatar team news

La Sele have called up their star goalkeeper Keylor Navas, although it is worth noting that the PSG shot-stopper is carrying muscle problems and may not start on Friday.

Coach Ronald Gonzalez also stressed that his side lacked several key players in the Panama defeats, as they could not travel last month due to COVID-19 concerns but they are available for the team's fixtures against Qatar and Basque Country.

Injured: None

Doubtful: Keylor Navas

Suspensions: None

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As expected, Al Sadd dominate Qatar's 27-man squad for the friendlies against Costa Rica and South Korea. Goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb makes way for club teammate Meshaal Barsham in the squad.

Yousuf Abdurisag, Moayad Hassan and Abdullah Maarafie get deserved recalls to the national team, while Al Arabi goalkeeper Mahmoud Abunada gets his first-ever call-up.

Injuries: None

Doubtful: None

Suspension: None


Costa Rica vs Qatar Predicted XI

Ghana Predicted XI (3-5-2): Keylor Navas, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Oscar Duarte, Francisco Calvo, Ricardo Blanco, Ariel Lassiter, Celso Borges, David Guzman, Randall Leal, Johan Venegas, Jonathan Moya.

Qatar Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Fahad Younis, Musaab Kheder, Boualem Khoukhi, Tarek Salman, Abdelkarim Hassan, Karim Boudiaf; Abdulaziz Hatem, , Akram Afif, Almoez Ali.


Costa Rica vs Qatar Prediction

Young Akram Afif will be one to watch out for
Young Akram Afif will be one to watch out for

Qatar have a few talented offensive players who will certainly want to express themselves at every opportunity, but Costa Rica are strong in defence and are expected to keep the scoreline tight despite their struggles in attack.

Asian Cup hero Almoez Ali should spearhead Qatar's attack along with young Al Sadd winger Akram Afif. The responsibility to keep the young duo quiet will rest upon Costa Rica's experienced centre-back pairing of Levante's Oscar Duarte and LA Galaxy's Giancarlo Gonzalez.

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If goalkeeper Navas successfully makes the starting line-up, it would be an added boost for the Central American side, but his probable absence from the start makes a Qatar victory likely.

Prediction: Costa Rica 1-2 Qatar

Published 11 Nov 2020, 16:51 IST
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