Brazil vs. Costa Rica betting tips, preview and Predictions
22nd June 2018 – 13.00 GMT
Group E – Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg – TV: RTE
Brazil and Costa Rica face each other in their second match in Group E of the World Cup. The Selecao are hot favourites to finish top of the group so any points Costa Rica can pick up against the five times tournament winners could prove to be vital. Switzerland and Serbia are the other teams looking to pounce should either of these teams slip up.
Brazil are set to be clear favourites to win this match against the Central American side. Both teams are at an early disadvantage having stumbled in the opening round of action, with Serbia’s victory and Switzerland’s opening day point leaving the group finely balanced. However, Brazil are still priced at 1/8 to qualify from the group stage.
This is the second match of Group E between Brazil and Costa Rica, which could prove pivotal in deciding who qualifies from the group. Tite’s side were held by Switzerland in the opening game while Costa Rica fell to a 1-0 defeat against Serbia.
Going into the tournament, Brazil have five clean sheets in a row and 15 from their last 19 matches while Costa Rica are likely to adapt a cagey approach here. Fewer than 2.5 goals at 11/10 appears to represent value.
Both teams to score
Brazil carry a significant attacking threat with Neymar, Willian and Philippe Coutinho but their strength is in a well-balanced team who can nullify their opponents, while Costa Rica’s star man is Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, and there are likely to deploy the counter-attack in this game. To bet against both teams scoring is available at 4/11.
- Brazil have won nine of their 10 meetings with Costa Rica, losing once, including their most recent clash – a 1-0 victory in a friendly, September 2015
- Neymar has scored 55 international goals for Brazil, more than any other active player for his country
World Cup Top Scorer Odds – 16/1
- Brazil have lost just one of their last 22 matches, stretching back to June 2016
- Costa Rica have won just two of their last 11 matches, losing seven including each of their last three
- Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup but after an opening day defeat to Serbia, face a real battle to advance from the group this time around
Croatia to qualify for second round – 25/1
Costa Rica 0-1 Brazil – Friendly – 5th September, 2015
Costa Rica 0-1 Brazil – Friendly – 7th October, 2011
Brazil 4-1 Costa Rica – Copa America – 11th July, 2004
Costa Rica 2-5 Brazil – World Cup – 13th June, 2002
Brazil 5 Costa Rica 0 – Copa America – 13th June, 1997
World Cup Qualifiers
With almost every other South American nation coughing and spluttering their way towards qualification, Brazil did so with comparable ease. They topped CONMEBOL qualifying, losing just once and finishing 10 points ahead of nearest rivals Uruguay.
Top Goalscorers in Qualifiers
Gabriel Jesus – 7 goals
Neymar – 6 goals
Costa Rica qualified for their fourth World Cup since the turn of the millennium relatively comfortably. Initially topping a group including Panama and Jamaica in the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying, Costa Rica finished second to Mexico in the final round to ensure their place in Russia.
Top Goalscorers in Qualifiers
Marco Urena – 3 goals
Joel Campbell – 2 goals
Why Should I Bet On Brazil against Costa Rica?
Brazil maybe weren’t brilliant in their World Cup opening draw with Switzerland but there was enough on show from the South Americans to suggest that once they find their rhythm, they’ll be hard to stop. Indeed, they’re heavy favourites, as short as 1/7 in some places.
Costa Rica lacked the same sort of spark that caught the eye in Brazil four years ago as they went down to Serbia. Few would have expected Los Ticos to get anything out of the five-time champions even before the opening round of games – after and they seem an even longer shot. A shock win is 25/1, while the draw, which would be a shock in itself, is 7/1.
His World Cup ended early through injury four years ago and a broken foot at the start of 2018 threatened to derail his tournament again but Neymar returned to fitness in time, even if he’s not quite firing yet. That could change here, with the Paris Saint-Germain star 12/5 to score the game’s first goal.
Costa Rica would do well to score at all against Brazil, never mind first. Joel Campbell at 18/1, the same price as Bryan Ruiz, is an option, but if there is to be goals in this contest – and there should be given the talent in the Brazil team – they’re likely to be in the Costa Rican net.
The gap between Brazil and Costa Rica on paper is such that, if it was to be accurately reflected on the pitch, it’d be a commanding Brazil win. 3-0 at 9/2 is still probably selling short the disparity between the sides but Costa Rica will dig in at least and make life difficult for their more glamorous opponents.
A Costa Rica win would rank as one of the biggest shocks in modern World Cup history, and the odds reflect that. They’re 33/1 to win 1-0 and 125/1 to win 3-0. A draw, with 0-0 at 14/1, is probably beyond them too but it’s at least a little more realistic.
Brazil: Alisson, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Pedro Geromel, Casemiro, Filipe Luís, Douglas Costa, Renato Augusto, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Marcelo, Marquinhos, Danilo, Paulinho, Cássio, Fernandinho, Fred, Willian, Roberto Firmino, Taison, Fagner, Ederson.
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.
13:00 – St Petersburg Stadium