Costa Rica vs Serbia Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
This match is over: Final score is: 0-1
Next Costa Rica match: Brazil vs Costa Rica
Next Serbia match: Serbia vs Switzerland
17th June 2018 – 08:00 ET
Stadium: Cosmos Arena
Costa Rica enjoyed a fantastic 2014 World Cup in Brazil and overcame a difficult draw to book their place in the last 16 of the competition. They eventually exited in the quarter-finals following a penalty shoot-out with the Netherlands. The magical run involved beating England and finishing ahead of Uruguay and Italy. There have been a number of changes over the past four years including the appointment of Oscar Ramirez, who was drafted in to replace the outgoing Paolo Wanchope.
Serbia didn’t qualify for the last tournament and also failed to book their place at Euro 2016 but there is plenty of optimism surrounding the national team. They have been drawn in a tough-looking Group E but they look one of the strongest sides in this section and will be hoping to follow the Selecao into the round of 16. They have also changed coaching staff, with the old regime deemed “too defensive”. Mladen Krstajic is the new man in charge and he has been tasked with lowering the average age of the squad.
Costa Rica secured their place at the 2018 World Cup with two games to spare, although, they were hardly convincing during their qualification campaign. They ended with a three-match winless streak and there were murmurs of discontent amongst supporters who watched their side lose at home to the USA. They must improve significantly this summer and avoid an over-reliance on the classy Kaylor Navas.
Serbia finished top of their qualifying group ahead of Wales, Austria and the Republic of Ireland. They were extremely tough to beat throughout and their place in Russia was secured by Aleksandar Prijovic’s goal against Georgia.
Costa Rica vs Serbia Predictions
Costa Rica may have caused a stir four years ago but they don’t appear to have the same mentality and expectations amongst fans have risen. They only beat Trinidad and Tobago (twice) and USA (once) during qualifying and were far from convincing. Against the odds, Serbia finished top of their group and they should be full of confidence ahead of this opening tie in Group E.
Pinnacle are offering 2.08 on a Serbia victory here and that looks a great price. The European side have Sergej Milinkovic-Savic back in the side after he was omitted by the former regime and the cultured Lazio midfielder could make all the difference.
Dusan Tadic is another player who has shone for Serbia and the Southampton playmaker ended the Premier League season in blistering fashion. He is 7.50 to score the first goal of the game with 888Sport and he netted the winner against Austria during qualifying.
Although Serbia were quite entertaining during qualifying, they are unlikely to play in the same manner here and with plenty at stake, they could set up more defensively. They will know that three points in this game gives them a huge chance of qualifying for the knock-out round and Under 2.5 Goals is hugely tempting at 1.60 with Intertops.
This game is likely to take a while to open up and William Hill are offering 2.10 for the highest scoring half to be the second.
- Costa Rica didn’t qualify for the World Cup until 1990
- They finished ahead of Italy, Uruguay and England at the 2014 World Cup
- They’ve qualified for three of the last four World Cups
- They were the first Central American team to win a game at the World Cup
- Costa Rica to be eliminated in the round of 16 (6.00 with 888Sport)
- Serbia have competed at the tournament under various names including FR Yugoslavia and Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1930)
- Serbia won just one of their three matches at the 2010 World Cup
- They failed to qualify for Euro 2016
Costa Rica: Keylor Navas, Johnny Acosta, Giancarlo González, Ian Smith, Celso Borges, Óscar Duarte, Christian Bolaños, Bryan Oviedo, Daniel Colindres, Bryan Ruiz (captain), Johan Venegas, Joel Campbell, Rodney Wallace, Randall Azofeifa, Francisco Calvo, Cristian Gamboa, Yeltsin Tejeda, Patrick Pemberton, Kendall Waston, David Guzmán, Marco Ureña, Rónald Matarrita, Leonel Moreira.
Serbia:Vladimir Stojković, Antonio Rukavina, Duško Tošić, Luka Milivojević, Uroš Spajić, Branislav Ivanović, Andrija Živković, Aleksandar Prijović, Aleksandar Mitrović, Dušan Tadić, Aleksandar Kolarov (captain), Predrag Rajković, Miloš Veljković, Milan Rodić, Nikola Milenković, Marko Grujić, Filip Kostić, Nemanja Radonjić, Luka Jović, Sergej Milinković-Savić, Nemanja Matić, Adem Ljajić, Marko Dmitrović.