Brazil continue their quest to win a record sixth W. Cup when they play Costa Rica on Friday afternoon. A superb goal from Philippe Coutinho opened their account in Russia, only for a debateable equaliser from Switzerland saw them pinned back in what would have been an excellent start for Tite’s team.
Brazil need a win to kick start their campaign, as they’re yet to extinguish the agony of that 7-1 defeat to Germany at home four years ago. Neymar looked solid in the first game, breaking a 20-year record for receiving the most fouls in a game, but they failed to capitalise and only drew. Their defence is the oldest in the tournament, while there could be a change of goalkeeper with Ederson taking over from Allison.
As for Costa Rica, they lost 1-0 to Serbia in their opening game, thanks to a superb free kick from Aleksander Kolarov. They struggled to impose themselves on the opposition, rarely threatening Serbia’s goal with an early header from Giancarlo Gonzalez their best chance. Defeat against Brazil will signal the end of their tournament, which will be a huge disappointment after their heroics four years ago.
Brazil vs. Costa Rica Predictions
Costa Rica don’t look the same team from four years ago, while Brazil looked exciting in their opening game, but failed to fire in the key moments. As Coutinho’s goal showed though, they can create something out of nothing and that’ll be enough to beat Costa Rica on Friday. Brazil to win by a large margin and keep a clean sheet is a good bet ahead of this one.
Brazil vs. Costa Rica Betting Tips
Head to Head
- Brazil have won nine of their 10 previous internationals against Costa Rica, losing only a friendly in March 1960.
- This is the third meeting between Brazil and Costa Rica at the W. Cup, with the former inflicting Costa Rica’s first ever defeat on them at the tournament in 1990 (1-0), before a 5-2 victory in 2002.
- Costa Rica’s only previous W. Cup victory against South American opposition came in the 2014 tournament (3-1 vs. Uruguay). They’d lost their previous three against CONMEBOL sides beforehand.
- Philippe Coutinho’s goals against Switzerland was his 11th for Brazil, five of those have come from outside the box.
- Costa Rica lost their first match against Serbia, ending a five-game unbeaten run at the W. Cup finals. They haven’t lost back-to-back W. Cup games since June 2006, when they lost four in a row.
- Brazil are winless in three W. Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst run since June 1978, when they went four matches without a win.
- Against Serbia, striker Marco Urena had just 14 touches in 67 minutes for Costa Rica, with three of those in the opposition box. His replacement, Joel Campbell, had 24 touches and four in the opposition box.
- Brazil conceded from the first shot on target they faced at the W. Cup. From their last 13 shots on target faced at the tournament, they have conceded 10 goals.
- Costa Rica have scored with just one of their last 31 shots at the W. Cup.
- Neymar was fouled 10 times in their opening match against Switzerland. It was the most a player has been fouled in a W. Cup match since 1998, when England striker Alan Shearer was fouled 11 times against Tunisia.
Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians), Danilo (Manchester City), Fagner (Corinthians), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint Germain), Marquinhos (Paris Saint Germain), Miranda (Internazionale), Pedro Geromel (Gremio), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Douglas Costa (Juventus), Neymar (Paris Saint Germain), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Costa Rica Squad
Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Patrick Pemberton (Liga Deportiva Alajuelense), Leonel Moreira (Herediano), Cristian Gamboa (Celtic), Ian Smith (Norrkoping), Ronald Matarrita (New York City), Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland), Oscar Duarte (Espanyol), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Bologna), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps), Johnny Acosta (Aguilas Dorados), David Guzman (Portland Timbers), Yeltsin Tejeda (Lausanne-Sport), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruna), Randall Azofeifa (Herediano), Rodney Wallace (New York City), Bryan Ruiz (Sporting CP), Daniel Colindres (Saprissa), Christian Bolanos (Saprissa), Johan Venegas (Saprissa), Joel Campbell (Real Betis), Marco Urena (LAFC)