- Costa Rica vies for a third straight victory when they visit El Salvador on Sunday in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying
- The Ticos must win to keep their World Cup hopes alive, while El Salvador has already been eliminated from contention
- Read on for all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday afternoon’s matchup at Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador
Costa Rica aim to keep their hopes of qualifying for a third straight World Cup alive with a third straight victory when they visit El Salvador on Sunday afternoon. The Ticos extended their current unbeaten streak to five games with Thursday’s narrow 1-0 victory over Canada. However, the Costa Ricans must continue their winning ways with a dominant offensive performance, if they are to boost their hopes of punching their ticket to Qatar later this year.
El Salvador return home after being eliminated from World Cup contention with Thursday’s 1-1 draw in Jamaica. It has been a tough qualifying cycle for La Selecta, who have scored just two total goals while earning just one victory in six home dates.
Here’s a look at all the odds, trends, and best bets ahead of Sunday’s matchup at Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador.
El Salvador vs Costa Rica Odds
|El Salvador vs Costa Rica||SAL -0.5 (-120) | COS +0.5 (-105)||SAL +275 | Draw +220 | COS -104||Ov 2.5 (+138) | Un 2.5 (-175)|
Odds as of March 26th at Barstool Sportsbook.
Costa Rica look to Sunday’s matchup as -104 favorites. El Salvador lag as lengthy +275 home underdogs, while the odds of these two sides playing to a draw for the third time in four clashes are pegged at +220. Despite the Ticos’ urgent need to fill the net, the odds of the total going UNDER 2.5 are listed at a lofty -175, while the OVER is listed at +138.
Ticos in Must-Win Mode
With Keylor Navas standing tall in goal, the Ticos withstood a furious second-half attack by a short-handed Canadian squad to seal the victory in Thursday’s contest. However, scoring remains a massive concern for this squad, which lags as a distant +200000 bet in the World Cup odds.
COSTA RICA TAKE THE LEAD OVER CANADA. 😳 pic.twitter.com/Cn5TgKVNMj
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 25, 2022
The stingy Ticos have kept clean sheets in four straight outings, and trail only Canada with just seven total goals allowed through their first 12 matches. But this team’s hopes of claiming a World Cup berth, without having to first compete in inter-confederation playoffs, hinge on pulling even in points with either the United States or Mexico, and breaking that tie on goal differential. As a result, an uncharacteristic offence-first game plan could in the works for Sunday’s contest.
Keylor Navas has not conceded a goal in 415 consecutive WCQ minutes. Let that sink in. He’s only conceded 5 goals in 10.5 appearances, 4 were from the run of play. 6 clean sheets.
There are no words to describe his legendary greatness. #LaSele
— CRC Futbol🇨🇷 (@crcfutbol) March 25, 2022
With Costa Rica aiming to make a statement on offence, they will be counting on another big evening from Navas. The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper deserves huge credit for the Ticos’ recent resurgence, keeping clean sheets in each of his past four outings with the national side. In addition, he has surrendered more than one goal just twice in his past 21 appearances across all competitions, including the Ticos’ 2-1 victory over El Salvador back in October.
Costa Rica vs El Salvador Head-to-Head Stats
El Salvador Relishing Spoiler Role
While El Salvador have posted just one win in their past 11, they have been steadier in recent outings, going 1-1-1 in their past three overall. And with their World Cup hopes dashes, expect this squad to embrace their role as potential spoilers. Like the Ticos, goals have come at a premium for this side, who lead only Honduras with seven total goals to date.
❌ El Salvador 🇸🇻
Draw 1:1 against 🇯🇲 Jamaica means that 🇸🇻 El Salvador is officially out of the @FIFAWorldCup
— FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 (@FIFAQatar2022WC) March 25, 2022
The Salvadoran defence has been equally stingy, surrendering more than one goal just twice in their past nine contests. That has generated a boon for totals bettors wagering on UNDER 2.5, which has paid out in nine of La Selecta’s past 10.
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— Galaxy Fan Talk (@LAGalaxyFanTalk) March 24, 2022
But could this squad seize the opportunity should the Ticos throw caution to the wind with an uncharacteristic run and gun attack? Jairo Henriquez and Darwin Ceren are two players worth watching in that regard. Ceren is poised to become El Salvador’s all-time leader in caps, and has scored twice so far in qualifying. Henriquez has also scored twice in qualifying, and has potted two goals in his past four matches across all competitions. However, both players picked up yellow cards in Thursday’s draw with Jamaica.
El Salvador vs Costa Rica Best Bet
With Costa Rica currently playing their best soccer so far in this round of qualifying, they should not be overlooked on the moneyline. And the possibility of a huge offensive push by the Ticos makes the OVER worthy of consideration as a value bet.
The Picks: Costa Rica (-104); OVER 2.5 (+138)
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