Belgium take on Costa Rica who are coming into this game having lost their last game 2-0 to England and it will be interesting to see how this game turns out.
The Central Americans have played every team in Belgium’s group and the Belgians will be hoping they can learn a thing or two in this game.
All the teams in group G have won against Costa Rica so far and Roberto Martinez’s men should complete the victories here. The Belgians drew against Portugal in their first warm up game before beating Egypt 3-0 last time out. The Belgians have an abundance of attacking talent and their defence is also solid.
Belgium have kept a clean sheet in 6 of their last 7 home games and they have not conceded a goal in their last four. They conceded just twice at home in the qualifiers, so it looks like Costa Rica are in for a tough night.
Costa Rica have lost four of their last five away games without scoring a goal and they lost without scoring against Tunisia and England. Belgium claimed a 1-0 win over Costa Rica 16 years ago and that clash is their most recent encounter.
Belgium vs Costa Rica Preview
Competition – International Friendly
Stadium – King Baudouin Stadium
Date: 11th June 2018
Kick-off time – 19:45 GMT
Watch Belgium vs Costa Rica Live Stream Online: Costa Rica vs Belgium: Time, Live Stream and TV Schedule, Belgium play their final friendly before FIFA World Cup 2018 on Thursday as they face Costa Rica at Elland Road in Leeds.
The match will be manager Gareth Southgate’s final chance to see his players in match action before their opening game of the tournament against Tunisia on Monday, June 18.
Costa Rica will play Belgium and Belgium before they head to Russia. Oscar Ramirez’s team have been drawn in Group E and will face Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia.
Belgium go into the game fresh from a 2-1 win over Nigeria. While the result will be welcomed, the performance still left plenty of questions.
The Three Lions were excellent in the first half as they surged into a 2-0 lead. However, they wilted after the break and allowed Nigeria back into the game.
Tom Adams at Eurosport highlighted the issues:
Southgate will hope his side can maintain their form for the whole 90 minutes against Costa Rica. The Belgium coach has said the team must learn from the win over Nigeria, per Jack Rosser at the Evening Standard:
“We didn’t come to terms with their change in formation, work out their midfield quickly enough, and they had a long passage of possession and they got in behind us. In general, we can improve on what we did. That five- or six-minute spell we have to learn from because, in a tournament, that’s enough to put you out.”
Costa Rica should prove another interesting test for Belgium. They finished second in CONCACAF qualifying behind Mexico and ahead of Panama.
Los Ticos made it all the way to the quarter-finals of World Cup 2014. They finished top of their group ahead of Uruguay, Belgium and Italy, before being knocked out on penalties by the Netherlands—they drew 0-0 with the Three Lions in Brazil.
Belgium Places Still Up For Grabs
Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Southgate is expected to make changes to his side for Thursday’s game, which should allow some players a chance to make a late claim for a place in the team.
Jamie Vardy, Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold could all make the starting lineup at Elland Road, according to Jason Burt at the Telegraph.
Southgate has also refused to confirm that Jordan Pickford will be his first-choice goalkeeper, despite the Everton man starting against Nigeria and being handed the No. 1 shirt.
“We’ll give consideration to who plays in goal against Costa Rica over the next 24 or 36 hours,” he said, per the Press Association (h/t Mail Online).
Stoke City’s Jack Butland and Burnley’s Nick Pope are the two other goalkeepers in the squad and will be hoping for a run out.
Belgium will be expected to dominate the game, but they will need to show creativity to break down Costa Rica. The players will be aware that an eye-catching display on Thursday could boost their chances of earning a starting spot at the World Cup.