Spain craves an exciting premiere
The Spanish team makes its debut at the World Cup in Qatar in search of a strengthening victory against Costa Rica
MADRID, 22 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Spanish soccer team will make its debut at the World Cup in Qatar this Wednesday (5:00 p.m./La1), with a duel against Costa Rica with which it will open its participation in Group E and where it is eager to leave good vibes by carrying out a debut that it is often choked historically.
The wait has come to an end and the 'Red' will begin their World Cup dream on the pitch of the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, a stage where Luis Enrique Martínez's team will want to add their first three points to reinforce them for the future.
Costa Rica appears as an affordable theoretical rival for the 2010 world champion, who knows that they will surely have to bear the weight of the match and the favoritism against the Central American team, with whom they will meet for the first time in an official match and who will try to play their cards, especially their defensive strength.
Another weapon can be the historic 'tremble' that usually plagues the Spanish team in its first matches of a major international competition where nerves can play a trick. In fact, Spain was not able to win their last three debuts, with defeats in 2010 against Switzerland (0-1) and in 2014 against the Netherlands (5-1), and a draw in 2018 against Portugal (3-3).
Luis Enrique only won the debut in one of his three World Cups and as a coach he has not gotten rid of that kind of 'curse' either with the goalless draw against Sweden in the last Euro Cup, despite playing with the support of the La Cartuja fans , while captain Sergio Busquets also contributes his experience to the youngest, which this first match in a World Cup may mean.
The Asturian coach knows the importance of getting off to a good start in a World Cup and will have taught his players not to hold anything back against a veteran and internationally experienced rival. The next stop in Qatar is Germany and not arriving with the three points could throw emergencies too soon.
The coach has already warned that he sees his team at its best moment and now it will be his turn to transfer it to a match where it will be key to leave 'plugged in' from the initial whistle because Costa Rica, presumably, will prefer to equip themselves close to Keylor Navas and set up a long duel and with maximum suspense time. Opening the scoreboard as soon as possible will prove more vital than ever.
Facing the eleven, Luis Enrique surely handles the doubts of the last occasions in some positions such as the right back, the central pair or the new one that has opened up in the position of the center forward. The best news for the man from Gijón is that he has his 26 players ready, including a Hugo Guillamón who has been taking care of himself with care.
Now, he will have to decide between Dani Carvajal and César Azpilicueta to occupy the right side, with the left now almost 'owned' by Jordi Alba after the departure of José Luis Gayà, while Eric García and Aymeric Laporte seem to start with an advantage to be the centrals, although the surprise of Rodri Hernández could appear as an alternative.
In the middle, the FC Barcelona trio made up of Busquets, Gavi and Pedri is shaping up as the starter, with Koke Resurrección as an alternative to the Andalusian, while above the question arises as to whether the Asturian will bet on his only purest '9', Álvaro Morata, or by the 'fake', Marco Asensio.
The Atlético de Madrid striker is now ready after not taking any chances in the friendly against Jordan and the Spaniard has fit in very well in that position where he offers his good associative capacity. On the sides, Ferran Torres and Pablo Sarabia could be the chosen ones.
Opposite, a Costa Rica that wants to give as much 'war' as possible, supported by its role as 'victim'. Far from the level he offered in Brazil 2014, where he overcame a group stage with Italy, England and Uruguay, and reached the quarterfinals, the 'ticos' needed the intercontinental play-off against New Zealand to be in Qatar.
However, the arrival of the Colombian Luis Fernando Suárez on the bench improved his performance somewhat, especially defensively, his greatest virtue. On the other hand, up top, he lacks a born scorer and will seek to surprise in some transition with the speed of Joel Campbell.
SPAIN: Unai Simón; Carvajal, Eric Garcia, Laporte, Jordi Alba; Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Sarabia, Morata and Ferran Torres.
COSTA RICA: Navas; Martinez, Duarte, Calvo, Oviedo; Torres, Borges, Tejada, Bennette; Ruiz and Campbell.
--REFEREE: Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed (UAE).
--STADIUM: Al Thumama.