2018 World Cup ALL SPORTS Breaking News Other Sports Slider Top news

Brazil vs Costa Rica Preview and Predictions

The second round of group games at the 2018 World Cup are well under way and on Friday, the attention turns to Group E.  The first of the second round of games to be played in the group features Brazil and Costa Rica.

Both teams are looking to pick up their first win of the tournament.  A win for Brazil would leave them in a good position to qualify for the Round of 16 and Costa Rica need to at least pick up a point to have any chance of progressing from the group.

Brazil started their 2018 World Cup campaign with a match against Switzerland and were expected to come out on top. However, despite having taken the lead through a great strike from Philippe Coutinho, Brazil could not build on their advantage and Switzerland came back to score a controversial equaliser in the second half.

Having taken their foot off the gas, Brazil could not respond to Switzerland’s goal and were forced to settle for a point in their opening game.  This leaves Brazil under a little pressure heading into this game and the know they need to win.

Brazil come into this match undefeated in their last eighteen World Cup matches and will remain confident of winning this game and qualifying for the Round of 16.

Costa Rica caused a huge shock in the 2014 World Cup by reaching the quarter-final. They were the surprise package of the tournament in Brazil but this time, teams are little wiser to their tactics and players and it showed in their first game of this tournament against Serbia.

 

The Costa Rican team are known for their defensive skills and although they did not concede from open play, a goal from a direct free-kick cost them the match.  There was little to enjoy from their performance in an attacking sense and the midfield and attack will need to combine better in this match, if they are to have any chance of winning.

 

However, Costa Rica have lost each of their last five games against Brazil and it would be considered a major shock if they were to take maximum points from this match.

Looking ahead to the team news and Brazil have doubts over Fred and Neymar, with the latter struggling following some rough treatment from the Swiss defence.  If Neymar fails to make it, Coutinho could be pushed further forward and Renato Augusto will come into the midfield.

Costa Rica may make one change from the team which lost against Serbia.  Having played well from the bench, Christian Bolanos could come in for Johan Venegas in attack.

Brazil know they need to up their level of performance following the draw with Switzerland but Tite does not appear to be a man who is going to throw caution to the wind.  Expect Brazil to come out on top and win the game but it may not be the dynamic, attacking performance fans are hoping to see.

Brazil vs Costa Rica Predictions:

Brazil to win