The Costa Ricans made a surprise run to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup. However, the Ticos already have been eliminated from the knockout round at the 2018 World Cup so they can only play spoiler against the Swiss on Wednesday. The Swiss could still win Group E or even miss out on the knockout round entirely. They are solid soccer betting favorites here.
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Switzerland vs. Costa Rica 2018 World Cup Group E Betting Preview
With Peru’s goal against Australia, 31 of 32 teams at the #WorldCup have scored a goal. The only team that has not is Costa Rica.
— FansFrenzy (@fans_frenzy) 26 de junio de 2018
- When: Wednesday, 2 PM ET
- Where: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
- TV / Stream: Fox Sports 1 / Fox Sports Go
- 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: Switzerland -139 / Costa Rica +400 / Draw +245 (Total 2.5)
Why Bet on Switzerland?
- Confederation: UEFA
- Head coach: Vladimir Petković
- Captain: Stephan Lichtsteiner
- FIFA Ranking: 6
- World Cup Appearances: 11
The Swiss are currently tied for first in Group E with Brazil. The Swiss will qualify for the next round with a draw against Costa Rica, or if Serbia loses to Brazil. If Switzerland loses by one goal and Serbia draw, second place will be decided by goals scored. If the sides finish with identical records then Switzerland would go through because they beat Serbia.
The Swiss drew with Brazil in their opening game and then beat Serbia 2-1 on Xherdan Shaqiri’s 90th-minute goal. The Stoke midfielder broke clear over halfway and went through on goal with Serbia at the other end of the pitch, slotting brilliantly under Vladimir Stojkovic after the Swiss had earlier been 1-0 down. Switzerland equalized after the break (52) as Granit Xhaka ran onto a loose ball to produce a superb 25-yard drive into the far corner, before Shaqiri’s winner at the death.
Switzerland’s never-say-die attitude and will to win was the key to turning around a match in which they had been pummeled by Serbia for much of the first half, Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic said.
“They went 1-0 up and we found our balance in the second half. “We wanted to fight Serbia but initially we had problems with that,” he said. “What is important is we have developed this winning mentally even when we are down. We always find a reaction, and this is an important and positive characteristic of my team.”
Switzerland has lost just one of their last 24 matches (W17 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in a World Cup qualifier in October 2017. Though not generally counted among the world’s glamour teams, Switzerland is ranked sixth in the FIFA standings. They reached the last 16 in Brazil 2014, where they lost to Argentina.
There had been some around three Swiss players who were being investigated by the governing body FIFA for politically charged hand gestures during the victory over Serbia. The gestures were intended to mimic a two-headed eagle, which is an Albanian national symbol. The players were Xhaka, Shaqiri, and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner. Xhaka and Shaqiri both have Albanian heritage linked to Kosovo, a former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. Serbia does not recognize that independence.
The three players have been fined – they could have been suspended. The FIFA judges had the power to impose two-match bans if the actions last Friday in Kaliningrad were judged to have provoked the general public.
Shaqiri has been directly involved in five of Switzerland’s last six World Cup goals (four goals, one assist). Only Josef Hügi (6 goals) has scored more World Cup goals for Switzerland than Shaqiri (4, tied with Robert Ballamann & Andre Abegglen).
- 1-Y. Sommer
- 2-S. Lichtsteiner
- 13-R. Rodríguez
- 22-F. Schär
- 5-M. Akanji
- 11-V. Behrami
- 15-B. Džemaili
- 14-S. Zuber
- 23-X. Shaqiri
- 10-G. Xhaka
- 9-H. Seferović
Why Bet on Costa Rica?
- Confederation: CONCACAF
- Head coach: Oscar Ramírez
- Captain: Bryan Ruiz
- FIFA Ranking: 23
- World Cup Appearances: 5
Costa Rica is already out after two defeats but could still have a say in who goes through. The Ticos opened the tournament with a 1-0 loss to Serbia and then fell 2-0 to Brazil. Both Brazilian goals were in second-half injury time. Costa Rica is winless in their last five World Cup matches (D3 L2).
Christian Gamboa, Costa Rica’s right-back, has been speaking about the challenges posed by the Swiss. “We are expecting a very complicated game,” he said,”Switzerland is going for qualification and they are going to giving everything for the result they need.”
In Costa Rica’s squad, there is one player who plays in Switzerland. His name is Yeltsin Tejeda and plays for Lausanne–Sport.
Costa Rica is winless in their last four World Cup games against European sides (W0 D3 L1), scoring just one goal across those four matches. Costa Rica has been knocked out of the group stages in this tournament after successive losses. In World Cup 2014, they won the opening two matches and guaranteed qualification for the knockout stage.
A loss for Costa Rica will mean that they will finish the group stages on zero points – only at World Cup 2006 have they ever failed to pick up a single point at the tournament. Switzerland and Costa Rica will be meeting for the third time and the first time at a major tournament – both nations have recorded one win each.
If anything, there is a risk that Switzerland could be too relaxed for the match although that suggestion was dismissed by midfielder Gelson Fernandes.
“We know how much quality they have – they will play with their hearts, it is their last game, they are proud to be in the World Cup,” he said.
- 1-K. Navas
- 8-B. Oviedo
- 6-Ó. Duarte
- 16-C. Gamboa
- 3-G. González
- 2-J. Acosta
- 5-C. Borges
- 20-D. Guzmán
- 11-J. Venegas
- 10-B. Ruiz
- 21-M. Ureña
Expert Final Score Prediction
Switzerland 1 – Costa Rica 1