Costa Rica vs Serbia Group E World Cup Picks & Predictions 6/17/2018
World Cup Group E
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Costa Rica will take on Serbia at Samara Arena in a Group E matchup on Sunday, June 17, 2018. The opening line for this World Cup matchup has Costa Rica at +430 and Serbia at -143. The total opened at 2. With Brazil and Switzerland also showing up in Group E, Costa Rica and Serbia are definitely going to be the underdogs of this group. Knowing that, this opening game could be extremely valuable for both squads if they are going to have any chance of getting through.
What Costa Rica lacks in quality they try to make up with chemistry. They're bringing back the majority of the players that were able to push the country into the round of 16 in 2014, so this is certainly not a team to count out. However, they have struggled in recent friendlies, losing to Spain, Hungary, and Tunisia in the run-up to the World Cup, with a couple of minor wins sprinkled in. Costa Rica comes into the World Cup ranked 25th in the world. This will be manager Oscar Ramirez's first game in charge at a World Cup, though he did represent Costa Rica as a player in the tournament on multiple occasions.
Easily the most well-known of the Costa Rican players, the Real Madrid keeper brings experience and leadership between the sticks. It was actually his performances in the last World Cup that made him a household name and convinced Real Madrid to nab him.
Navas will be counted on to keep the score low, but Costa Rica will need a player like Ruiz to step up and score some goals. The 32-year-old has only been able to score four total goals over the last two seasons in domestic play, but he did score three for his country during qualifications.
It's very tough to come up with reasons why Serbia doesn't get better results than they have been getting in recent years considering the names they have on their roster. They may be finally turning the corner, though, after easily getting through their qualifying group to make it to their first World Cup since 2010. They are a strong offensive team with some defensive weaknesses, so they will need to be aggressive to have a chance in this tough group. Serbia is ranked 35th in the FIFA rankings, but it could be argued that they have more talent than many of the teams currently ranked above them. Manager Mladen Krstajic has only been coaching for a couple of years, so he will definitely be feeling the pressure to impress in his first World Cup as manager.
We are going to guess that if people don't know who Milinkovic-Savic is right now, they will once the group stage is over. The big midfielder is just as adept at going forward as he is at controlling the midfield, which is why he is currently being targeted by some of the biggest clubs in the world.
Matic is one of the key reasons why some people are giving the Serbians a chance in this group. He plays well on the big stage, his situational awareness is highly rated, and he is a calming influence on his teammates.
Key Costa Rica Injuries
No key injuries to report
Key Serbia Injuries
No key injuries to report
Who will win tonight's Costa Rica/Serbia World Cup game against the spread?
Guy's Pick: Take Serbia -143
Read more articles by Guy Bruhn
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