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The main contenders for the throne slipped up in their opener on Sunday evening when they only drew 1-1 to Switzerland in spite of grabbing an early advantage through a stunner from Philippe Coutinho.


Brazil will be looking to get their campaign back on track five days later when Selecao are to play group underdogs Costa Rica at Saint-Petersburg Stadion.

The record five-time champions failed to clinch a three-pointer in the tournament curtain-raiser for the first time since 1978.

Such scenario was hardly predictable after Paulinho missed from close range just moments before his fellow Barcelona teammate Philippe Coutinho bagged a fabulous stunner from outside the box to push Tite’s side ahead.

Schweizer Nati never gave up showing a remarkable mental strength and the will to perform a comeback against a stronger opposition.

The team guided perfectly by the Bosnian-born manager Vladimir Petkovic justified the high place at the FIFA World Rankings since they came to Russia as the sixth team in that leaderboard.

Brazil, who only showed the will to clinch the victory in the final five minutes of the game as they clearly lacked in cutting edge ever since the aforementioned striker from Coutinho.

They are now set to play Costa Rica whose ambitions of matching the shocking result from the previous tournament suffered a massive blow when Los Ticos fell 1-0 to Serbia on Sunday.

Oscar Ramirez’s men thus have a mission impossible in front of them facing the likes of Brazil and Switzerland in two remaining outings.

Brazil Team News
Tite expectedly started the match against Switzerland in a 4-3-3 formation with Neymar, Jesus and Willian making the attacking trio.
There should be no changes to the squad that took on Schweizer Nati given that the manager favours Gabriel Jesus over Roberto Firmino.
Casemiro was booked in the first game, but he should start here as well over Fernandinho.

Brazil Predicted Starting Eleven (4-3-3)
Alisson – Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo – Paulinho, Casemiro, Coutinho – Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar.

Costa Rica Team News
There are only two men who justified Ramirez’s confidence in Costa Rica’s shirt on Sunday against Serbia.
One of three centre-backs Giancarlo Gonzalez and right winger Cristian Gamboa were better than others for Los Ticos.
Marco Urena will again be the lone striker with Bryan Ruiz and Johan Venegas behind him as a pair of attacking midfielders.

Costa Rica Predicted Starting Eleven (3-4-2-1)
Navas – Acosta, Gonzalez, Duarte – Gamboa, Borges, Guzman, Calvo – Ruiz, Venegas – Urena.

Brazil vs Costa Rica Head-to-head
Brazil completely this match-up over the course of history. Selecao won each of past nine encounters against Costa Rica with an impressive goal-difference of 27-7 in the process.

The two teams last met each other in September 2015 when Brazil’s mixed line-up defeated Los Ticos 1-0 at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. It was Hulk who bagged the only goal off the game for the Brazilians back then.

Their previous clash at World Cup happened back in 2002 in Korea/Japan when Selecao took a demolishing 5-0 victory in the group stage affair.

Brazil vs Costa Rica Prediction
Brazil head into this as massive favourites and anything but a comprehensive victory for Selecao would represent a massive shock for us.

Tite’s troops are in a must-win position after a slip-up against and goal difference might also play role in the battle for the top spot in the group following the mentioned draw with Switzerland.

This is why we expect the star-studded Brazilian side to go strong from the very first minute and try and gain the advantage as early in the game as possible on the day.

The HT/FT win for Brazil is paid at the 1.57 odds and it does appear to be a banker bet given the obvious gulf in quality between the two.

Brazil’s defense looks rock solid under Tite as the team came to Russia off the back of five subsequent clean sheets kept in friendlies.

The conceded controversial equalizer against the Swiss was from a set-piece which saw Zuber push his marker to free the space and send the header right behind Alisson.

Other than that, Brazil were in no danger of conceding in the opening game and we firmly believe they are going to keep their net untouched here against Costa Rica as well.


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