Costa Rica V Serbia is one of the crunch games in Group E. The vast majority of people expect Brazil to top Group E pretty comfortably, but that second qualification spot is truly up for grabs. Costa Rica, Serbia or Switzerland could all feasibly qualify in second.
In the FIFA rankings, Switzerland currently sit in the rather overstated position of sixth, Costa Rica in 25th and Serbia in 35th. As many of you are aware though, the FIFA rankings do not tell us everything and are often not very representative of the reality. We actually think that Serbia will finish second in this group, in contrast to what the FIFA rankings are telling us.
Costa Rica World Cup 2018
Costa Rica had a fantastic tournament in Brazil four years ago, where they narrowly missed out on a semi-final place, losing to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals on penalties. They beat Uruguay and Italy on their way to topping their group, which also included England; this was an absolutely fantastic achievement. Undoubtedly, they were the surprise package of the tournament. This time round however, we predict that they will struggle to qualify from their group.
Serbia World Cup 2018
Serbia on the other hand didn’t even qualify for the last World Cup and also didn’t qualify for Euro 2016 two years ago, which has made it a tough few years for them. But their current squad boasts some real talent with the likes of Branislav Ivanovic, Aleksandar Kolorov, Dusan Tadic, Nemanja Matic and Alexsandar Mitrovic. They are experienced players and we feel that this experience will give them the upper hand and see them finish second in the group.
Costa Rica V Serbia World Cup 2018
This will be one of the deciding games in the group, and one which realistically will need to be won if either side has any hopes of qualifying. In line with our group prediction, we think Serbia will be victorious in this match. Costa Rica are not the same team they were four years ago, and Serbia simply have a stronger team than Costa Rica.
The bookies agree, with Serbia even being odds-on to win such as at Betway, where the odds are 19/20 on Serbia winning this match. The draw is available at decent odds of 2/1 and 9/4, and a draw is not exactly out of the realms of possibility.
A Costa Rica win is being offered at the likes of 3/1 and 14/5, showcasing how unlikely the bookies think a Costa Rica win is. But then again, this is the World Cup, and anything can happen as Costa Rica showed us in 2014 in Brazil!
Costa Rica have never faced Serbia which makes this an interesting encounter. Costa Rica will no doubt want to recapture some of the amazing performances they showed four years ago, starting with this game against Serbia. But we cannot ignore the fact that Serbia look like the stronger side, and we expect them to get the three points on the 17th June to help them on their way to qualifying from Group E.