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World Cup Watch: Cristian Gamboa

England v Costa Rica - International Friendly Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Yesterday we previewed Mikael Lustig and Sweden’s chances at WC 2018, so today we’ll focus on our other right back, Cristian Gamboa who, like Lustig, is almost guaranteed to be a starter for his country in Russia.

Who is he up against ?

Sunday 17th June: Serbia

Friday 22nd June: Brazil

Wednesday 27th June: Switzerland

Will he feature past the group stages?

Second place is wide open in this group and Costa Rica have as good a chance as the other two nations at clinching the runners up spot, as it’s safe to assume Brazil are going to romp it. On paper, Serbia should be good enough to claim second place, but their lack of experience at a world cup could go against them, compared to Costa Rica who memorably punched above their weight in 2014. Switzerland have made every international tournament since 2004, with the exception of Euro 2012 too, and have performed well in their warm up games ahead of Russia 2018. For Costa Rica finishing second, they’ll need Kaylor Navas to perform like he did in the recent CL Final, and less of his erratic displays he put in against Juventus and Bayern in the quarter/semis of that particular competition as well as Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell to recapture their excellent form in Brazil 2014, as they were vital in their surprise wins against Uruguay and Italy.

Will Celtic be fighting off transfer bids if he has a good world cup?

Perhaps. Gamboa’s always performed reasonably ‘ok’ in the SPFL for us, but was a genuine embarrassment at Champions League level, although he was far from the only player to under-perform for us in our last two CL campaigns, but a decent world cup showing from him will maybe gain some interest from teams who have completely forgot about his roastings from those who aren’t employed by Partick Thistle and Hamilton.

Gulag Rating

2/10. A thoroughly unoffensive individual who seems to just ‘get oan wae it’ more than anything. The polar opposite of Lustig. Very doubtful that Russian Enforcement will have him on their radar.