World Cup Insider: Spain to test Costa fitness

First published in Sport

SPAIN: Vicente Del Bosque is keen to put Diego Costa's fitness to the test when his side take on El Salvador in their final World Cup warm-up match today.

Much has been made over Costa's fitness in recent weeks, with the Atletico Madrid forward suffering a hamstring injury on the final day of the Primera Division campaign before returning a week later in the Champions League final, only to limp off the pitch again just nine minutes in.

Since then, Costa has undergone extensive treatment on his right leg in an effort to be fit for the World Cup, with the player showing signs he has overcome the problem in training this week.

It is likely the Brazilian-born striker, who scored 36 goals in all competitions last season to help Atletico win their first La Liga title in 18 years, will be given a run-out against El Salvador - along with fellow injury worry Juanfran.

GERMANY: Joachim Low accepts there is a possibility he could lose his job should his side fail to impress at the World Cup.

Germany have been drawn alongside Portugal, the United States and Ghana in Group G, which many have labeled this tournament’s “Group of Death.”

But despite being drawn into such a tough group, the Germany coach knows his team’s performances will be heavily scrutinised. And even though he recently signed a contract extension keeping him in place through Euro 2016, Low knows that’s no guarantee.

“I have a contract, but I also know that a Bundestrainer [German national coach] will always be judged by the team’s performance in a tournament. Should we be eliminated at the group stage, it would be necessary that changes are made.”

BOSNIA: Asmir Begovic is aware that the Bosnia-Herzegovina squad must shoulder 'huge responsibility' as they prepare to grace the World Cup stage.

Bosnia will be making their first appearance at a major international tournament since gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1992.

Expectations are high that a side boasting the considerable talents of Stoke goalkeeper Begovic, Roma playmaker Miralem Pjanic, Stuttgart forward Vedad Ibisevic and Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko can shine under the global spotlight.

Begovic insists the players are ready to embrace that pressure, with there a determination on their part to 'put smiles' on the faces of those that have had to cope with so much.

FRANCE: Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has been ruled out of France's World Cup campaign, along with Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier.

Montpellier's Remy Cabella and Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin will replace the duo, whose absence was announced by Didier Deschamps ahead of his side's departure to Brazil.

Ribery had been following an individual training programme to overcome a back problem and failed to prove his fitness after rejoining the full squad on Friday.

Grenier sat out the session as he underwent scans on a thigh injury, and both players' worst fears were confirmed by coach Deschamps.

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