As the tournament approaches the knockout stages and events on the pitch take on a life of their own, addressing the human cost of this World Cup remains as urgent as ever. Here’s some pre-match reading.
For those already criticising Frappart’s appointment, Derek Rae, ESPN’s lead Bundesliga commentator, has a concise response.
Whatever else happens this evening, Stéphanie Frappart will mark an important milestone. She is about to become the first female referee to take charge of a men’s World Cup match, leading an all-female officiating team alongside assistants Neuza Back and Karen Díaz Medina.
… and here’s Flick’s starting XI.
Here’s how Luis Fernando Suárez’s side line up this evening.
Well, well, well. If it isn’t Germany having an existential crisis at the World Cup, again. Hansi Flick’s side come into this match bottom of Group E after a shock 2-1 defeat to Japan and a dicey 1-1 draw against Spain, meaning they need a win here – and a sympathetic result between Japan and Spain – to avoid going out at the group stage in a repeat of Russia 2018. Costa Rica could make for tricky opponents, having beaten Japan 1-0, or they could be utterly rubbish, having lost 7-0 to Spain. It’s honestly hard to say.