Bet Builder Tips: Asensio to shine in this 10/1 Spain v Costa Rica World Cup punt

Our tipster Andrew Beasley previews La Roja's opening World Cup game.

Spain v Costa Rica, World Cup Bet Builder

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Spain v Costa Rica Betting Tips

Over 2.5 Goals
Both Teams to Score: No
Anytime Assist: Marco Asensio
Anytime Goalscorer: Pablo Sarabia

*A Bet Builder with these bets pays at approximately 10/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.

Wednesday, November 23: 16:00 – Spain v Costa Rica
TV: ITV, ITVX

Spain take on Costa Rica in one of the biggest mismatches in the group stage at the 2022 World Cup. La Roja came into the tournament as joint-fourth favourites with Paddy Power while their opponents are in the 500/1 outsider group. There is no reason to think this game will go in any way other than the one which we all expect.

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Over 2.5 goals

After a relative dip following their three tournament triumphs a decade ago, Spain have returned to the level at which they belong. Luis Enrique’s side were a penalty shootout away from reaching the final of Euro 2020 and this year they topped their Nations League group to advance to the final four next year. 

They’ve played 11 games in the last 12 months, winning eight and only losing one. It might surprise you to learn that Costa Rica have won 10 of their 14 in the same period, but the differing standard of opposition tells the story. Where the Spanish have mostly been facing solid opponents, Los Ticos’ victories have been against the likes of Martinique and Uzbekistan. Borat might have enjoyed the latter match but it won’t help Costa Rica against the might of Spain.

The last meeting in 2017 ended 5-0 to Spain and while this shouldn’t be quite so emphatic it should be comfortable enough from the perspective of the favourites. They’ve scored at least two goals in four of their last six matches so they should be good for at least three against the World Cup outsiders.

Both teams to score: No

While their previous clash was very one-sided, Costa Rica only lost by the odd goal in three in their prior match against Spain. They fared even better 11 years ago when they drew 2-2 when facing the reigning World and European champions. The Central Americans took the lead in those two games too.

However, it’s hard to see Luis Fernando Suarez’ side having much bite here. Costa Rica only scored 13 goals in their 14 CONCACAF qualification matches, netting just four times away from home. Their 1-0 inter-confederation play-off win over New Zealand did little to convince that they’ll have much of a goal threat here either. As such, it has to be a ‘no’ wager in the Both Teams to Score market. 

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    Anytime Assist: Marco Asensio

    Assists are such a relatively rare occurrence – there’s fewer of them than goals, for one thing – which makes them very difficult to predict. But if anyone looks a decent bet to set up a goal in this match then it’s Marco Asensio. 

    The 26-year-old was the joint-top assist provider in UEFA Nations League A this season and he also teed up Ansu Fati for the opening goal in Spain’s 3-1 win over Jordan last week. This means the Real Madrid man has registered an assist in four of his previous five international appearances and he set up goals in three of his last five games at club level too. Did you know Asensio is the Spanish word for assist? It isn’t, but he’s making that lie seem plausible now. Back him to get an assist here. 

    Anytime Goalscorer: Pablo Sarabia

    In Spain’s 2-0 win over Czech Republic in June, Asensio was replaced by Pablo Sarabia, and within three minutes the Paris Saint-Germain man had scored. He also bagged the only goal of their win in Switzerland, to become his country’s joint-top scorer in the Nations League group stage. Yep, two goals was all it took.

    Crucially, as a PSG attacker who isn’t a global superstar, Sarabia hasn’t played too much lately and will be fresher than many players in Qatar. And while he doesn’t always start, he has featured in every single Spain game since the Euros. Add in that he takes penalties and Sarabia looks a very sensible anytime goalscorer bet.

    Spain v Costa Rica World Cup betting tips

    Over 2.5 goals
    Both Teams to Score: No
    Anytime Assist: Marco Asensio
    Anytime Goalscorer: Pablo Sarabia

    *A Bet Builder with these bets pays at approximately 10/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.

    All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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