Preview: Spain Women vs. Costa Rica Women – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday’s Women’s World Cup clash between Spain Women and Costa Rica Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Spain Women will kick off their 2023 Women’s World Cup campaign on Friday when they face Costa Rica Women at the Wellington Regional Stadium.

La Roja are set to make their third World Cup appearance, while Costa Rica are preparing to feature in the tournament for a second time.

Match preview

Spain's Esther Gonzalez celebrates scoring against England at Women's Euro 2022 on July 20, 2022© Reuters

After being eliminated in the group stage in 2015 and exiting in the last 16 in France four years ago, Spain are hoping to go deep into the competition this time around.

However, their preparations for the tournament have been dominated by a protest from 15 players, who signed a letter in September last year to complain about head coach Jorge Vilda and the conditions in the national setup.

As a result, 15 players made themselves unavailable for selection, while the Spanish federation backed Vilda, resulting in a drawn-out dispute.

Some of the players have returned to the national side, including Ona Batlle and Aitana Bonmati, and La Roja are now focusing on the World Cup group stage where they will go up against Costa Rica, Zambia and Japan.

After thrashing Vietnam 9-0 in their final warm-up game, Spain will head into their opening game off the back of six consecutive victories.

Costa Rica, meanwhile, are preparing for their second World Cup appearance after they reached the knockout stages of the 2022 CONCACAF Championship to seal their place in Australia and New Zealand.

They were eliminated in the group stage in their only previous outing at a World Cup in 2015 after picking up just two points from their three matches.

Incidentally, Costa Rica also began the 2015 tournament with a 1-1 draw against Spain, and they would be content with picking up a similar result on Friday.

However, their recent form suggests that claiming a positive result may prove difficult, having won one, drawn two and lost eight of their last 11 matches.

Their only victory in that period took place at the Central American and Caribbean Games earlier this month against Haiti, but they were unable to follow up that result in a World Cup warm-up against South Africa, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat.

Spain Women form (all competitions):

Costa Rica Women form (all competitions):

Team News

Spain Women coach Jorge Vilda on February 22, 2022© Reuters

While the likes of Batlle and Bonmati have returned to the national side, Mapi Leon, Patri Guijarro and Claudia Pina decided against ending their international exile.

After spending the majority of the 2022-23 season on the sidelines, Alexia Putellas has recovered in time to be included in the World Cup squad, and she is hoping to be fit enough to start Friday’s opening game.

Experienced striker Jenni Hermoso is expected to feature up front, and she could be joined in the forward line by Mariona Caldentey and Salma Paralluelo.

As for the visitors, Daniela Solera is likely to start in goal, and she could be shielded by the central defensive pairing of Mariana Benavides and Fabiola Villalobos.

With over 100 international caps to her name, Katherine Alvarado will offer valuable experience in the Costa Rica midfield.

Melissa Herrera represents one of Costa Rica’s main attacking outlets, and she could be given the chance to lead the line against Spain.

Spain Women possible starting lineup:
Misa; Batlle, Codina, Ivana, Carmona; Bonmati, Abelleira, Putellas; Paralluelo, Caldentey, Hermoso

Costa Rica Women possible starting lineup:
Solera; Guillen, Benavides, F. Villalobos, Del Campo; G Villalobos, Alvarado, Rodriguez, Granados, Chinchilla; Herrera

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We say: Spain Women 3-0 Costa Rica Women

Having won 10 of their last 11 internationals, Spain head into the tournament in fine form, and we think that they will show their class in Friday’s contest to claim a comfortable victory over Costa Rica.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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:data

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