By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 27th June 2018
Wednesday 27th June
Stadium: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
Live on ITV4
Switzerland vs Costa Rica- who needs what to qualify?
Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia can all still win the group, finish second or fail to qualify for the knockout rounds. Serbia could beat the Swiss to the second qualifying spot with a draw if Vladimir Petkovic’s side lose by more than one goal against Costa Rica, who are already eliminated.
Switzerland are 1/100 to qualify, with Brazil 1/12 and Serbia the rank outsiders in the odds at 5/1.
Switzerland vs Costa Rica odds
Reported Liverpool target Shaquiri and friends are 8/11 for victory, with the draw 23/10 and a pride-restoring victory for the vanquished Ticos trading at odds of 9/2.
Meanwhile a low-scoring encounter is anticipated, with unders the favourite on the 2.5 match goals line at odds of 8/13 and overs a 6/5 shot.
Switzerland vs Costa Rica team news
Swiss coach Petkovic will be relieved that Xherdan Shaquiri and Granit Xhaka have escaped FIFA sanction over their controversy courting ‘Albanian double eagle’ goal celebrations in the win over Serbia last time out.
Mario Gavranovic or Breel Embolo are expected to replace Haris Seferovic up front after a couple of ineffective showings from the Benfica benchwarmer, with the former considered the more likely to get the nod.
Gavranovic has bagged 22 goals in 46 appearances for club and country during 2017/18, including notching for Croat club Riejka in a Europa League group stage win over AC Milan.
As yet there has been no news of potential changes to the Costa Rica line-up.
Switzerland vs Costa Rica predicted line-ups
Switzerland 4-2-3-1: GK Yann Sommer; RB Stephan Lichtsteiner, CB Fabian Schar, CB Manuel Akanji, LB Ricardo Rodriguez; CM Valon Behrami, CM Granit Xhaka;AMR Xherdan Shaqiri, AMC Blerim Dzemaili, AML Steven Zuber; ST Mario Gavranovic.
Costa Rica: GK Keylor Navas; CB Johnny Acosta, CB Giancarlo Gonzalez, CB Oscar Duarte, LWB Bryan Oviedo, RWB Cristian Gamboa; CM Celso Borges, CM David Guzman, AMC Bryan Ruiz, AMC Christian Bolanos; ST Marco Urena.
Switzerland vs Costa Rica match stats
Costa Rica have gone four World Cup games against European sides without a win, (D3 L1), scoring just once across those four matches. They’re also winless in their last five outings at the tournament (D3 L2), scoring just once. A Switzerland win to nil can be backed at odds of 6/4.
But before you go unloading the kids’ college money on the aforementioned bet, Switzerland have conceded a goal in each of their last three World Cup games.
Switzerland vs Costa Rica key players to watch
Xherdan Shaqiri has been involved directly in five of Switzerland’s last six goals at the World Cup, (scoring four and assisting one). He’s 13/8 to score anytime vs Los Ticos and 55/1 to equal the hat-trick he notched against another CONCACAF side Honduras in the final group games of the 2014 tournament.
Bryan Ruiz was Costa Rica’s leading scorer and inspiration in Brazil four years ago, but he has been a frustrating figure in Russia, where he is the joint-sixth most-often-dispossessed player, having being tackled an average of 4.5 times in his first two games.