Costa Rica was a huge surprise at the 2014 World Cup, but the Ticos’ chances of advancing this year are gone should they lose as expected on Friday in Group E action to tournament favorite Brazil, which is a massive favorite on the MyBookie Sportsbook soccer odds.
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Brazil v Costa Rica 2018 World Cup Group E Betting Preview
Bad news: Neymar limped away from #BRA training on Tuesday.
Good news: He’s expected to train fully on Wednesday.
— Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) 19 de junio de 2018
- When: Friday, 8 AM ET
- Where: Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia
- TV / Stream: Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports Go
- 2018 World Cup Group E Betting Odds: Brazil -476 / Costa Rica +1150 / Draw +520 (Total at 3 goals)
- No CONCACAF team has ever beaten Brazil at a FIFA World Cup
- Brazil has already beaten Costa Rica in the 1990 and 2002 World Cups
- Thiago Silva will be A Seleção’s captain against Costa Rica
Why Bet on Brazil?
- Confederation: CONMEBOL
- Head coach: Tite
- Captain: Neymar
- FIFA Ranking: 2
Brazil fans are still likely wondering what happened in their tournament opener as Brazil was held to a 1-1 tie with Switzerland, a game in which the Swiss fouled Brazil star Neymar a record 10 times. It was the first time since 1978 that Brazil didn’t win its opener. They had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. It should be noted that the Selecao have never lifted the tournament without an initial victory.
In their first World Cup game since infamously losing 7-1 to Germany in the semi-final in Rio four years ago, Brazil took their time to warm up. Marcelo was the only survivor from that Germany defeat who started. But the Brazilians looked to be in full control of their opener when Phillipe Coutinho had a spectacular goal from range in the 20th minute. Five of Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil have been from outside the box. Since 1966, Brazil has scored 37 goals from outside the box at the World Cup — 11 more than any other team.
Gabriel Jesus, arguably the team’s second-best player, didn’t have a great match. While the Selecao took 20 shots on goal, only one attempt came from Jesus. The Man City man also endured a difficult game in possession, registering the worst passing performance of any Brazilian with just 62 percent accuracy.
Brazil fans have been criticizing manager Tite for one second-half substitution. He replaced Paulinho with Renato Augusto, a move that hardly changed things for Brazil.
Some great news on Wednesday for Brazil in that Neymar resumed training, one day after leaving the session early because of a lingering right ankle injury. The forward missed training on Monday and joined his teammates for only 15 minutes on Tuesday, with doctor Rodrigo Lasmar saying it was a precautionary measure after he felt soreness while jogging. Neymar’s first season with Paris Saint-Germain ended in February after he underwent surgery on a broken right foot. This injury reportedly has nothing to do with that one.
If Brazil fails to beat Costa Rica they will equal their worst ever run of four winless games in the World Cup finals, a run that spanned the 1974 and 1978 tournaments. They expect to face another tough defense against Costa Rica but hope to control the pace a little more. Tite still wants to see an electric squad, but with better decision-making and tranquility when the goal-scoring opportunities come to pass.
- 3-João Miranda
- 2-Thiago Silva
- 11-Philippe Coutinho
- 9-Gabriel Jesus
Why Bet on Costa Rica?
- Confederation: CONCACAF
- Head coach: Óscar Ramírez
- Captain: Bryan Ruiz
- FIFA Ranking: 23
Costa Rica achieved their best World Cup result four years ago in Brazil, where they reached the quarter-finals. They were knocked out by the Netherlands on penalties.
However, the Ticos will be eliminated from the tournament with a loss to Brazil after losing 1-0 in the opening round to Serbia. Costa Rica did have Real Madrid No. 1 Keylor Navas available after a recent minor knock, while both Giancarlo Gonzalez and Oscar Duarte featured in the Central Americans’ back line. Their best chance fell to Gonzalez in the 12th minute and his back-post header flew over the crossbar.
Costa Rica had two shots on target in the opening three minutes, then didn’t manage another until the 91st minute. Costa Rica named their oldest ever starting XI in a World Cup match (29y 346d), beating their previous record by one day (29y 345d v Ecuador in 2006).
Costa Rica suffered their first defeat at the World Cup since 2006 (1-2 v Poland), ending a run of five games unbeaten in the competition (W2 D3). It’s only the second time in five World Cup tournament appearances that Costa Rica has lost their opening game, with the previous instance coming in 2006 at the hands of tournament hosts Germany (2-4).
These two sides have met 10 times, with Brazil winning nine times. Brazil won 1-0 in their last meeting in September 2015. Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez played against Brazil in 1990.
“It’s going to be a difficult game like any game in the World Cup,” Coutinho said of Costa Rica. “All games have been balanced. Their game against Serbia was decided by a free kick. “They have to be careful. If they are going to be defensive, we will prepare. This is something we will only know on Friday. We will prep for both situations.”
- 1-K. Navas
- 6-Ó. Duarte
- 16-C. Gamboa
- 3-G. González
- 2-J. Acosta
- 8-B. Oviedo
- 5-C. Borges
- 17-Y. Tejeda
- 7-C. Bolaños
- 10-B. Ruiz
- 21-M. Ureña
Expert Final Prediction
Brazil 2 – Costa Rica 0
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