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Nov 17, 2021 at 1.05am UK
Costa RicaCosta Rica
Duarte (20'), Torres (90+5')
Campbell (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Quioto (35')

Preview: Costa Rica vs. Honduras - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Costa Rica vs. Honduras - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's World Cup Qualifying - North Central America clash between Costa Rica and Honduras, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Costa Rica will be looking to kickstart their qualification hopes for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar when they welcome Honduras to San Jose in the latest of their CONCACAF qualifiers on Tuesday evening.

The five-time World Cup participants have won just one of their opening seven qualifiers so far, whilst their visitors are still searching for their first win of the campaign after suffering a humiliating capitulation last time out.

Match preview

After competing in four of the last five finals on the global stage, Costa Rica could be set to miss out in Qatar next year unless they can turn results around quickly.

Six points from the opening seven qualifiers mean La Sele occupy fifth position heading into Tuesday's encounter, with five points separating themselves and Panama in the playoff qualification spot in fourth.

Although they were not expected to compete for the top three automatic qualification spots with USA, Mexico and Canada, Luis Fernando Suarez's side will be aware of the expectation to seize fourth spot in order to retain their hopes of reaching yet another World Cup.

The latest of their disappointing results in the CONCACAF qualification campaign arrived in Edmonton on Friday evening, with Costa Rica falling 1-0 to a defensively-solid Canadian team.

Suarez's team were not deserving of a point as a result of their lack of presence in the final third, and this was also the case in their previous fixture with Tuesday's opponents back in October.

A goalless draw was earned that day despite being dominated throughout, and a much-improved performance, as well as three vital points, is the bare minimum requirement if Costa Rica are to retain a chance of reaching their third-straight World Cup.

As for Honduras, their 3-2 defeat to Panama on Friday evening summed up the disappointments of their qualification campaign so far.

After Alberth Elis and Brayan Moya had given them a 2-0 lead during a dominating opening hour to the game, the final third of the tie was nothing short of a disaster, particularly the final 15 minutes.

Three goals inside nine late minutes turned the qualifier completely on its head, and leaves Los Catrachos rooted to the bottom of the Octagonal table after a winless opening seven fixtures.

As a result, they find themselves eight points adrift of Friday's opponents Panama in the playoff qualification spot, meaning three points is as vital to them as it is to Costa Rica on Tuesday.

Anything less than a win is likely to all but confirm Honduras's failure to participate in back-to-back World Cup tournaments, after previously competing in 1982, 2010 and 2014, although it will not primarily be the fault of head coach Hernan Gomez.

The 2-0 home defeat to Jamaica last month was the final straw for predecessor Fabian Coito, and the new era under Gomez began brightly against Panama, before quickly collapsing in his opening match in charge.

Costa Rica World Cup Qualifying - North Central America form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Honduras World Cup Qualifying - North Central America form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Costa Rica continue to miss first-choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas during this international break, with the Paris Saint-Germain stopper being ruled out of these qualifiers due to an elbow injury.

Leonel Moreira will continue in goal as a result, but changes are to be expected in the outfield players in order to provide a response to another goal-shy performance.

The 136 caps of the experienced Bryan Ruiz could prove crucial, and the forward may start here after failing to make an appearance from the bench against Canada.

Meanwhile, the visitors will assess the availability of Cadiz forward Anthony Lozano ahead of Tuesday's encounter, after the 28-year-old was replaced shortly after half time due to injury against Panama.

Kevin Alvarez and Alexander Lopez failed to reappear for the second half but their substitutions were thought to be tactical rather than being due to carrying any knocks.

Former Wigan Athletic defender Maynor Figueroa will continue to captain the side at the heart of the defence, which will earn the veteran his 179th international cap in the process.

Costa Rica possible starting lineup:
Moreira; Blanco, Duarte, Calvo, Oviedo; Tejeda, Salas; Campbell, Ruiz, Venegas; Ortiz

Honduras possible starting lineup:
L Lopez; Alvarez, Melendez, Figueroa, Elvir; Elis, Mejia, Flores, Moya; A Lopez, Quioto

We say: Costa Rica 1-0 Honduras

Two out-of-form sides desperate for the win meet here so it could be a cagey affair that is low on quality and goals.

We believe Costa Rica should edge out their visitors due to the home advantage, as well as possessing a little extra talent in their ranks compared to the winless Honduras.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:curl

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