Brazil vs Costa Rica Group E World Cup Picks & Predictions 6/22/2018
World Cup Group E
Friday, June 22, 2018
Saint Petersburg Stadium
Brazil will play at Saint Petersburg Stadium when they take on Costa Rica on Friday, June 22, 2018 in a Group E matchup. The opening line for this game has Brazil at -500 and Costa Rica at +1300. The total has been set at 3.
As one of the favorites to win the World Cup, Brazil will be looking to make quick work of Costa Rica in this second Group E fixture. Costa Rica does have a strong defense and an excellent goalkeeper, though, so there is a chance, albeit slight, that they'll be able to keep Brazil's high-flying offense in check. That being said, Brazil is an early 1/6 favorite in this matchup and should be able to win by two or three goals.
Brazil will have a very straightforward strategy in their game against Costa Rica: Overwhelm them with their collection of talented attackers. Head coach Tite will know not to take this opponent lightly and will want to get off to a strong start. They do struggle a bit against teams that play with five defenders as Costa Rica do, but they've made adjustments to their lineups to better deal with the more conservative teams. Brazil doesn't have to be at its best to win this game, but Tite will want to get that early goal to loosen up the defense (and his players) as quickly as possible.
Sure, Neymar is the Brazilian forward that everyone will be watching, but Jesus will need to have a big tournament for Brazil to win it all. He's creative, he is fantastic at finding the open space behind defenders, and, most importantly, he is excellent in front of goal. Since most of the focus will be on the players around him, expect Jesus to be a top performer against Costa Rica.
The Barcelona midfielder struggled a bit near the end of the La Liga season, but he always seems to play well for his country. He's yet another Brazilian player who will find some open space outside the box, so it wouldn't be surprising at all if he's able to add to continue the form that saw him score an impressive six goals during qualifications.
Just about everyone will give Costa Rica very little chance in this fixture, but they've surprised in the World Cup before. They'll look to play strong defense against Brazil and find moments where they can quickly turn defense into offense. They do lack talent up front, but one goal might be enough to get a point if everyone does their jobs and they're able to keep Brazil's superstars from taking over.
Oviedo is going to have to stay further back in his wing back position in this matchup, but watch out when he goes forward. He's pacey and he can pick out passes in the box with excellent precision, so if the Costa Ricans can sustain some possession in this game, Oviedo could play a major role.
The Bologna defender should start right in the middle of Costa Rica's back five, so it will be his job to keep everyone positioned correctly. Gonzalez has good size and athleticism, which is obviously important against this highly-athletic Brazilian team.
Key Brazil Injuries
No key injuries to report
Key Costa Rica Injuries
No key injuries to report
Who will win tonight's Brazil/Costa Rica World Cup game against the spread?
Tony's Pick: Take Brazil -500
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