Pre-tournament favourites Brazil rather underwhelmed in their opening 1-1 draw with Switzerland, but you sense there is plenty more to come from Neymar and co as the World Cup progresses. As for Costa Rica, they could really do with a win here to keep their thin Group E hopes alive. Can the Brazilians finally come to the party in Russia? Here are our Brazil vs Costa Rica betting tips.
While this Brazil squad is packed with stars, most of the focus is on the £200 million man, Neymar. He came in for some rough treatment against the Swiss, and was thought to have twisted his ankle in that bruising encounter.
After missing a couple of day’s training he was back with the squad yesterday, but will he be fully fit for Friday’s game in St Petersburg?
The PSG winger is a key figure in this side; for all his world-class talent, of course, but also because he forms an axis of evil down the left flank with Marcelo bombing on and Philippe Coutinho drifting across from his number ten role.
It is that overload which will prove crucial to breaking down a stubborn Costa Rica outfit, who frankly were unlucky to lose against Serbia following Aleksandr Kolorov’s top-drawer strike.
Is there a chance that the South Americans’ party could be pooped once more? Let’s take a look in our Brazil vs Costa Rica betting tips.
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Brazil vs Costa Rica Betting Tips
The 1-1 draw with Switzerland was what we might call a ‘sighter’; an early tournament game where the players are participating in their first competitive match in over a month. There was always likely to be some ring rust.
Mind you, Coutinho looked like he’d never been away, curling home a trademark strike from the inside left channel after 20 minutes.
But the Brazilians were caught napping early in the second period, and while they huffed and puffed they didn’t really fashion any gilt-edged chances from that point on.
Valon Behrami did a fantastic man-marking job on Neymar, and you sense that a Costa Rican – whomever may be tasked with the role – will have to be similarly diligent.
The Central Americans are set up to defend in their 5-4-1 system, and it is hard to see them really challenging Brazil without any real width or attacking motive to their play.
The Brazilians will enjoy plenty of possession and, has been the case in quite a few World Cup matches so far, the action will unfold at barely walking pace as they seek a way through the wall of opponents in front of them.
There isn’t a huge amount of betting value around in this one, but Brazil to Win to Nil appears to be fair game at 8/13 (1.62) with William Hill.
Brazil vs Costa Rica Betting Tips: Side Markets
Costa Rica won’t be completely defensive in their outlook, certainly not like Iran were against Spain for example, but by the same token they will recognise that they have more chance of beating Brazil 1-0 than 4-3.
We would expect the Brazilians’ much-vaunted forward line to kick into gear sooner rather than later, and they should have plenty in the tank to take care of business.
Here’s another NetBet special: we can get odds of 7/10 (1.70) on Brazil to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0.