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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Scotland and Costa Rica likely to lay on a goalfest

Scotland manager Alex McLeish makes his Scotland squad announcement
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Friendly Sky Football, 7.45pm Friday

Costa Rica is a name which sends shivers down the spine of any Scotland football fan. Twenty-eight years after Los Ticos humiliated the Scots at Italia 90 the sides meet again, though the stakes are very different.

Alex McLeish and Oscar Ramirez played on that unforgettable night in Genoa and now are in charge of their respective nations for this far less significant Hampden Park friendly.

Like so many friendlies, it doesn’t look easy to call.

McLeish, not an overwhelmingly popular choice as gaffer, needs to make a statement and has rung the changes with a glut of novices drafted into his squad. The Scots had lost just once in eight prior to McLeish’s appointment – a narrow loss against Holland – hence the short price that they triumph in this game.

Costa Rica are in World Cup preparation mode so Ramirez has brought a strong squad over for this fixture and next week’s showdown with Tunisia.

Keylor Navas, Bryan Oviedo, Bryan Ruiz and several others are survivors of the Central American side’s run to the quarters at the last World Cup, which included a 0-0 draw with England.

They are, however, without a win in five and their last European trip, in November, ended in a pair of defeats to Spain (5-0) and Hungary (1-0).

They haven’t kept a clean sheet in seven games and the Scots have scored at least two in their last six. Take a chance on goals with over 2.5 looking surprisingly big. 

Over 2.5 goals
1pt 7-5 BoyleSports, BetBright 

Bet on this match at

Team news
Defenders Russell Martin and Kieran Tierney have withdrawn, as has midfielder Dylan McGeouch. Ryan Fraser has a back problem.

Costa Rica
Striker Joel Campbell has been overlooked after five months out injured.

Key stat
Costa Rica have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven games.

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Costa Rica have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven games
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