After a surprising draw in their opener, Brazil will expect to get three points from their game against Costa Rica to put them in a strong position as they look to qualify to the last 16. However, they will need to improve from their display against Switzerland, where the Samba Boys were flat for large parts of the game, with star man Neymar not having the impact many had hoped.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica know they need to cause a major upset and secure a win to have any real chance of qualifying, or at least take a point to keep their World Cup hopes alive after an opening game defeat to Serbia. The Central Americans were poor that day and they only lost 1-0 because of wasteful finishing from the Serbs.
Here we will give you Brazil vs Costa Rica betting tips, look at where the game will be won, the key players and a Brazil vs Costa Rica prediction for the Group E encounter.
Our Brazil vs Costa Rica Prediction: Brazil 3-0 Costa Rica
Our Brazil vs Costa Rica prediction tips is for a resounding Brazil win that will see the South Americans really announce themselves at the tournament.
Brazil approached the World Cup as the favourites and it was easy to see why after a stunning qualification campaign but they just didn’t show their quality against a Switzerland side that are resilient and stubborn. Whilst Costa Rica will put up a similar fight, we expect Brazil to play with more purpose and pace against the ageing opposition and ultimately they should have too much. All eyes will be on Neymar but their front four are devastating and should create chances at will throughout the game.
Four years ago Costa Rica shocked the world, advancing from group winners against Italy, England and Uruguay and that was based on a solid defence and a quick counter. Unfortunately for them, that solid defence is older and not as good, as are the forwards. There’s not much to like about this Costa Rica team and whilst they will relish the role of underdogs, they could come under serious pressure here.
Our recommended tip – Brazil -1
This is an extremely talented Croatian group, who boast a superb midfield and have enough variety in attack to cause problems for anyone.
We think Brazil could win by at least three goals, but a safer punt would be Brazil -1 meaning you need them to win by two to get a payout.
As mentioned, this is a side that rightly arrived as favourites and they have so much class going forward. The first game was slightly worrying for Brazil backers but we believe they’ll put that right today. It’s a mismatch in terms of quality and the likes of Neymar, Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus and Willian will have too much pace, flair and skill for Costa Rica. It may take a while to break the stubborn Central Americans down but the goals should flow in an easy win.
The fixture in Saint Petersburg will be the 11th time these sides have met, with Brazil winning nine of the previous ten and last losing to Costa Rica in 1960. It will also be their third World Cup match, with the Samba Boys winning 1-0 at Italia ’90 and 5-2 in 2002.
As for their recent games, as mentioned Brazil were poor against Switzerland. They were held to a 1-1 draw and whilst they were unfortunate VAR didn’t intervene to disallow the Swiss equaliser it was fair on the balance of play. They weren’t quick in possession, they sat deep after taking the lead and Neymar was petulant from the first whistle. You can put it down to nerves and Tite will expect a big response from his team.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica were poor themselves. You can give them some credit for staying in the game against Serbia and it was a stunning free-kick that beat them but in reality there was a gulf in class on the day. And, the natural worry was if they looked so poor against Serbia, Brazil could give them a hiding.
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Players to watch – Coutinho & Neymar
We’re expecting this to be one-way traffic so we’ve highlighted to Brazilian players to watch, starting with their standout performer from the last match. Coutinho scored a superb goal and was one of few who actually looked to provide pace, enthusiasm and drive to the team. He ended the season superbly with Barcelona and is a top-class performer. As he plays deeper than the rest, he will be responsible for instigating attacks and finding early key passes.
Yet, all eyes will be on PSG man Neymar. He was very poor against Switzerland, dithering on the ball for far too long and doing very little with it productively. But, there’s no doubting he is world-class and he regularly produces for Brazil.