World Cup – Brazil-Costa Rica
Brazil were regarded as one of the big favourites for winning the World Cup in Russia. That’s why a lot of people were surprised when Selecao didn’t beat Switzerland in its first match of the competition. Philippe Coutinho’s lovely strike was not enough to beat the Swiss team. Now Brazil gets a second chance to impress against Costa Rica.
Four years ago the whole Brazilian nation was crushed when Germany humilated Selecao during the 1/2-finals of the World Cup. Now a lot of things are changed in the Brazilian squad. They healed from what happened four years ago and now they are ready to conquer the world once again.
Against Switzerland Brazil showed some good moves, but they were unable to create the amount of clear chances they’d have like to have. Of course, we also have to compliment the Swiss team, which is very disciplined tactically and knows how to defend. Many good teams will have trouble to find a way past Switzerland’s defense. Exactly this happened to Brazil as well.
It’d be interesting to see if Tite is about to make some changes in his line-up against Costa Rica. Against Switzerland he used Roberto Firmino, Renato Augusto and Fernandinho from the bench. We think that he’s going to keep his midfield line against Los Ticos, but it won’t be surprise if he picks Roberto Firmino over Gabriel Jesus as his “number 9”. For him it’d be a good way to see which one of the two is going to be more useful until the end of the competition. Jesus is a better poacher than Firmino, but Liverpool’s forward is more mobile, more combinative and plays better in defense. It’s not an easy decision, but Tite have to decide which one of the two serves the team better.
Costa Rica didn’t have the luck to start with at least a point at the World Cup. Los Ticos suffered a defeat against Serbia in their first game. They were unlucky, because they conceded a goal after a set piece – Aleksandar Kolarov’s amazingly good free kick. Until the end of the game Costa Rica tried to at least level the score, but the Serbians defended pretty well.
Here’s the moment to remind that Costa Rica are not performing very good against Brazil, historically speaking. These two teams have met nine times so far and Brazil have won all of these nine matches. Their last World Cup meeting was in 2002, when Brazil’s title-winning squad enjoyed a 5-2 win.
Right now Brazil are in a run of three consecutive games without a win at the World Cup, when we add their last two matches at the 2014 World Cup. Maybe it’s time for them to break the cycle?
We regard Brazil as huge favourites against Costa Rica. It’s true that Selecao didn’t start the World Cup in the most impressive way possible, but they remain one of the strongest teams in the competition. And they know that it’s time to pick their first win on Russian soil.