BRAZIL vs COSTA RICA: Group E of the FIFA World Cup 2018 has three teams fighting it out for the qualifying spots. Brazil in their opener drew against a resilient Switzerland legion and the flair we’re used to seeing the Brazilians operate at wasn’t visible. Philippe Coutinho’s magical strike did put them ahead but it was sloppy defending that caused them the game. Costa Rica, on the other hand, were taken down by the Serbs in a 1-0 defeat. Alexandar Kolarov the chief destructor on that occasion. A sense of scepticism and a touch of circumspect seems to have taken over the teams at this year’s World Cup. The teams are not only comprehending a full-fledged attack but also are holding a nervy rearguard. Can the Brazilians turn the heat on or is the stage too grand even for the Canarinhos to exhibit flamboyance?
Tite announced that Brazil will field the same starting eleven but after an injury concern to Manchester City’s full-back Danilo there just might be an opening. Fagner is going to be the likely replacement.
Costa Rica will remain unchanged for this fixture.
VENUE: SAINT PETERSBURG STADIUM, ST.
EXPECTED PLAYING 11 FOR BRAZIL vs COSTA
Defenders: Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo
Midfielders: Casemiro, Paulinho; Willian, Coutinho
Strikers: Neymar, Gabriel Jesus.
Goalkeeper: Keylor Navas
Defenders: Johnny Acosta, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Oscar Duarte
Midfielders: Francisco Calvo, David Guzman, Celso Borges, Cristian Gamboa, Christian Bolanos, Bryan Ruiz,
Strikers: Marco Urena.
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Brazil have won 9 out of their last 10 meetings against Costa Rica. The last time they lost a game against them in an international friendly in 1960.
At the World Cup – Matches: 2, Brazil: 2, Costa Rica: 0
Brazil are winless in three World Cup matches. Lost the last two in 2014 and a draw in the first game this year. They went four matches without a win back in 1978, their worst ever run.
Neymar was fouled 10 times in his opening match against Switzerland. Alan Shearer was fouled as many as 11 times against Tunisia in the 1998 WC. The most in a World Cup game.
Costa Rica’s only previous World Cup victory against a South American opposition came in the year 2014 when they beat Uruguay 3-1.
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