By Anis Bazza
Last Updated: 22nd June 2018
Brazil will hope to get their World Cup campaign properly on track when they face a Costa Rica side they are 2/11 to beat. In this Group E clash, Costa Rica’s odds of winning stand at 16/1 whilst a draw is betting at 11/2.
Brazil gained a point against Switzerland in their opening fixture courtesy of a trademark Philippe Coutinho long-range effort.
Costa Rica, who were the surprise team of the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, meanwhile, were content to stay defensively organised and attempt to trouble Serbia on the break, but still lost their opener 1-0.
Brazil’s own preparations have been clouded in doubt when Neymar hobbled out of training three days ago. Neymar had been given the day off previously but hobbled off on his first day back.
An official statement from Rodrigo Lasmar, the doctor of the Brazilian national team, said: “Neymar complained of ankle pains as a result of the number of fouls suffered against Switzerland.
“He was referred to physical therapy, and he stayed there today and he will be there tomorrow morning, but he will train tomorrow afternoon.”
Neymar suffered a tournament-high 10 fouls in the draw against Switzerland and he promptly urged referees to “do their jobs”. But releasing an official statement through the national team doctor smells of the Brazilian federation attempting to put further pressure on the referees after Neymar’s post-game comments.
Neymar recently returned to full fitness after having surgery, so any fresh injury concerns will be worrying.
Costa Rica will have to get a result against this Brazil side if they are to have a realistic chance of progressing to the next round. They have reached the knock-out round in two of their last four World Cup appearances (1990 and 2014).
Joel Campbell to score and Costa Rica to win was 33/1 but is now betting at 40/1.
Anis grew up supporting Manchester City but found joy and solace across Europe’s major football leagues. Increasingly passionate about NBA, he is interested in and has written extensively about many different aspects of sport across the years, previously working at Sky Sports News and Sport360 newspaper in Dubai. He studied Sport Journalism at University but spent a large portion of his academic years building City Watch instead - the largest independent Manchester City Twitter account and website.