Big Match Breakdown: Brazil v Costa Rica
Odds and tips ahead of the Group E game…
Brazil will look to get their first win of the World Cup against Costa Rica in Saint Petersburg today.
Selecao were frustrated in their opening game against Switzerland as Tite’s side drew 1-1. Costa Rica began their campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Serbia.
The Coral News Team delve into this clash at the Krestovsky Stadium with another Big Match Breakdown…
These two nations actually have a rich history when it comes to previous meetings. The pair have met twice at World Cups.
Brazil triumphed on both occasions – 1-0 at the 1990 World Cup and 5-2 in the 2002 tournament.
In fact, Brazil have only ever lost to the Central Americans just once – 3-0 back in 1960. In the most recent clashes in 2015 and 2011, respectively, the South Americans have won 1-0 on both occasions.
There’s unlikely to be too many changes made by either manager. Brazil have a slight worry over Neymar who limped out of training on Tuesday.
If the Paris Saint-Germain superstar doesn’t make it, Philippe Coutinho is likely to be pushed into a forward role. And that means Renato Augusto coming into midfield.
For Costa Rica, Oscar Ramirez could replace Johan Venegas with Christian Bolanos in attack.
Costa Rica are going to have to come up with a minor miracle to stop Selecao notching maximum points. It’ll certainly help if Neymar doesn’t make it.
But Brazil have an embarrassment of riches in attack. Ramirez will need to play with a low block in a bid to frustrate Coutinho and co. Switzerland did a good job of it.
And Costa Rica are a solid outfit defensively, at least. It’ll be a backs-to-the-wall job Oscar Duarte and co. at the back. But if they can pack the defense, Gabriel Jesus will be starved of time and space.
Width will be needed for Brazil, and that will mean Marcelo and Danilo bombing forward.
Brazil are heavy favourites at 1/4, with Costa Rica way out at 20/1. The Draw is available at 11/2.
Selecao didn’t look overly fluid against the Swiss. And Costa Rica will present more of the same in terms of solidity.
If the Brazilians are to up it here, and Neymar does play, they’ll need the PSG ace to quicken the tempo. He took too much out of the ball in the opener and slowed the play.
Coutinho managed a superb curler in the first game against the Swiss. And another wonder strike might be needed to break down a tough Costa Rican backline.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing