Brazil v Costa Rica Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

June 18, 2018

- Grant Whittington

Saint Petersburg Stadium – World Cup Group E

Brazil will try to overcome the disappointment of dropping points in their opening World Cup fixture when they take on Costa Rica in Saint Petersburg on Friday. The Selecao could only draw 1-1 with Switzerland in their first match, while Los Ticos lost 1-0 to Serbia and may be eliminated by Friday night if they suffer another defeat.

Past Meetings

Brazil and Costa Rica have faced each other nine times before – with the Brazilians winning all nine meetings. The nations have twice met at the World Cup finals: the Selecao won 1-0 in Italy in 1990 and 5-2 in the Far East in 2002. The last fixture came in September 2015, when a Hulk goal earned Brazil a 1-0 victory.

Team News

Neymar played 90 minutes for Brazil against Switzerland despite coach Tite admitting the Paris Saint-Germain man isn’t completely fit. He did take a hammering against the Swiss, though, and was fouled ten times so will be monitored. Costa Rica are likely to be unchanged from their opening match.

Brazil v Costa Rica Preview and Predictions

Brazil are many onlookers’ favourites for this competition so there were eyebrows raised when the Selecao could only draw with Switzerland. After a slick start, the performance gradually dropped off with star man Neymar looking far from his usual dynamic best. The five-times champions will still expect to qualify, though, and they’re 1/4 favourites to brush off Sunday’s shortcomings with a win.

Costa Rica can count themselves slightly unfortunate to be pointless. A solid enough start against Serbia faded and Los Ticos are now up against it to repeat their giant-killing of four years ago. They’re at a massive 30/1 to stun the Brazilians and even gaining one point seems far-fetched with the draw at 39/5.

Brazil haven’t lost to a non-European team at the World Cup finals since 1990 and their flawless record against the Costa Ricans previously indicates that’s not going to change in Saint Petersburg. While the Selecao’s attacking stars were frustrated by a dogged Swiss defence, Costa Rica’s does not quite reach the same levels and there could be goals in it for Brazil. A 3-0 result can be backed at 5/1 or 4-0 at 9/1.

Recommended Bets

Brazil to win 3-0 at 5/1

If Philippe Coutinho, Neymar and Gabriel Jesus all hit top form, there’s no reason why Brazil can’t win comfortably – as they usually do against Costa Rica.

Second half to be the highest scoring half at 28/25

Costa Rica ran out of steam against Serbia after a spirited start and a similar performance against Brazil could be costly.

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