Spain and Costa Rica will take place at the Al-Tumama Stadium in Doha.
Spain are coming off the back of two disappointing campaigns in which they were ousted at the group stage in Brazil and then
failed to advance beyond the last-16 in Russia, while there was also semi-final heartbreak at the European Championship last summer.
But Luis Enrique’s side are determined to make a statement and return to top tournament form in Qatar,
with plenty of chatter over their controversial squad selection that omitted the likes of record appearance-maker Sergio Ramos but included Barcelona’s Ansu Fati.
Spain will not have Jose Gaya available for the tournament after the Valencia left-back
suffered a sprained ankle in training and was replaced by Barca youngster Alejandro Balde,
who could be needed to start the first match this week with Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal also battling illness.
Costa Rica: are bothered by no such injury concerns ahead of their fifth World Cup
appearance since 1990 and third in a row following an intercontinental play-off win over New Zealand back in June.
Veteran Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas remains their star player and will earn his 108th senior cap against Spain,
with former Arsenal forward Joel Campbell – who now plays his club football in Mexico with Leon – leading the attack.
Predicted Spain XI (4-3-3):
Carvajal, Laporte, Pau Torres, Alba;
Busquets, Gavi, Pedri;
Ferran Torres, Fati, Morata.
Predicted Costa Rica XI (4-4-2):
Oviedo, Calvo, Duarte, Fuller;
Bennette, Tejeda, Borges, Torres;