Brazil v Costa Rica: Philippe Coutinho tipped to star in comfortable win for the Canarinhoby Chloe Beresford / 22 June 2018, 08:17Tweet
After Brazil suffered disappointment in their 2018 World Cup opener with a 1-1 draw with Switzerland, Tite’s men will be looking to get back on track versus Costa Rica on Friday.
A free-flowing start in the early stages of the aforementioned match briefly demonstrated what the Selecao are capable of, but they have a lot of work to do if they are to live up to their reputation as tournament favourites.
“We had too many balls off target, if we had been a bit more focused we could have made the goalkeeper work a bit more,” concluded the Brazil boss after the match.
“My expectation of course was to get a victory and of course I'm not happy with the result.”
Tite will perhaps be comforted by the fact that his side have an excellent record versus their CONCACAF opposition, having won the last eight competitive fixtures against them and last defeated way back in 1960. Despite a fresh injury scare for key man Neymar, the boss is expected to name an unchanged lineup from their ill-fated opener, but will expect much more from his squad this time around.
One of those aforementioned defeats for Costa Rica was an entertaining 5-2 versus Brazil back in the 2002 World Cup. Los Ticos were then managed by Alexandre Guimaraes – who also played for the side during Italia ‘90 – father of current squad member Celso Borges.
Costa Rica battled hard versus Serbia in their first match of the tournament, only to succumb to a stunning Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick as they went down 1-0. With a record of having lost seven of their last nine matches in all competitions, it is unlikely that boss Oscar Ramirez has enough in his locker to get any kind of result versus the five-time world champions.
Pictured: Oscar Ramirez, Costa Rica Manager
With this in mind, Betfair are offering odds as high as 20/1 on a Costa Rica win and Ladbrokes are currently showing the best bet on a Brazil win at 2/9. A goalscorer bet is therefore looking more lucrative, and with two goals in his last two matches for the Canarinhos, Philippe Coutinho looks like a good man to back.
The former Liverpool attacker is 17/10 with both Paddy Power and Betfair to find the net for the third game a row. For Costa Rica, Arsenal winger Joel Campbell will battle to return to the starting lineup following injury and is 7/1 with Bet365 as an anytime goalscorer.
After Brazil struggled to find the winner following Switzerland’s equaliser last Sunday, reports suggest that Tite could be ready to bring Douglas Costa off the bench in this match, and regular viewers of Serie A can attest to the fact he can easily affect the result in this capacity. Bet365 offer 13/2 on a second half goal for the Juventus man, a bet that is well worth paying attention to.
There may have been a 5-2 thriller between these two sides back in 2002, but this Brazil side are now much better in defensive areas and could well win convincingly to nil.
Prediction: Brazil 3-0 Costa Rica