sport

Spain v Netherlands preview

Diego Costa is expected to be fit for Spain in in Friday's opening World Cup Group B game against Netherlands at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

Costa, set to join Chelsea after the World Cup, claims he has fully recovered from the hamstring injury which dogged him in the final weeks of the season and led to him being withdrawn after just nine minutes of Atletico Madrid's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

The 25-year-old has trained without reporting any ill-effects and should start ahead of David Villa for the 8pm kick-off.

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal also has a worry over his star striker but, like Costa, Robin van Persie is confident he will be fit to spearhead his side's attack despite being withdrawn at half-time in the recent friendly win over Wales after complaining of a groin injury.

The 30-year-old then collided with a kitesurfer in Rio de Janeiro earlier this week but escaped with minor scratches and a headache, leaving him free to start this repeat of the 2010 World Cup final.