World Cup Match 9: Costa Rica v Serbia

Day 4 of the FIFA World Cup opens with the first contest in Group E, when Costa Rica takes on Serbia at the Samara Arena.

Stats

What’s their current form?
Costa Rica has played in 16 games in the past season, however only 5 of those have been this year. They’ve made a good account of themselves this year despite losing some games. They had a 1-0 win over Scotland and a 1-0 loss to Tunisia just 4 days apart. They then had 3 warm up games for the World Cup, scoring a 3-0 win over Northern Ireland, losing 2-0 to England and earlier this week they kept Belgium to a scoreless draw.

Serbia has played 10 games since last September and just 4 this year, where they have had a 2-1 loss to Morocco and a 2-0 win over Nigeria. Their World Cup warm up games saw them lose 1-0 to Chile before belting Bolivia 5-1 last week.

Lineups
Costa Rica: Navas; Waston, Gonzalez, Duarte; Gamboa, Borges, Guzman, Oviedo; Ruiz, Urena, Campbell.
Serbia: Stojkovic; Ivanovic, Milenkovic, Tosic, Kolarov; Matic, Milinkovic-Savic; Tadic, Ljajic, Kostic; Mitrovic.

Any interesting facts I should know?
Costa Rica advanced to the World Cup comfortably, finishing second in their qualification, letting in just 8 goals in their 10 clashes, while Serbia topped their qualification group with 6 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss, scoring 20 goals to be the clearly best attacking team.

What should I be betting on?
Serbia has the better attack, while Costa Rica’s defence is reliable. Tied scores at the break before a Serbia victory looks good.

Wolf’s Prediction

Costa Rica were the darlings of the 2014 with a run to the quarter finals in Brazil. They somehow finished top of their group – a group that included Italy, England and Uruguay. They then got past Greece in the round of 16 despite having a man sent off on the hour mark. In the quarters they gave the Dutch a real scare but came up short in a penalty shootout. Their defence was incredible, conceding just twice in 5 matches. Repeating that effort is too much to ask according to The Wolf. Their recent run of friendlies has not gone well -especially against European opponents. Since gaining qualification they have lost 5-0 to Spain, 1-0 to Hungary, by two goals to England and most recently, 4-1 against Belgium. The Wolf says even the best nations struggle to flick the switch when they get to the World Cup, let alone minnows like Costa Rica. Serbia have two key advantages – playing in Europe and having a superior roster. They have a handful players who were standout performers for their respective club sides last season. Ivanovic and Kolarov are as solid as they come while Miivojevic and Mitrovic are in career best form. The Wolf has Serbia progressing to the knockout stages and they can only do so if they collect maximum points in this one.

Recommended Bets

Best: Serbia WIN ($1.85)
Value: HT/FT – Serbia/Serbia ($2.90)
Other: Win Both Halves – Serbia ($5.00)


FAQ’s

TV channel, kick-off time, betting odds, tips, live stream and team news

What time is kick off? The game starts at 4pm (local time) on June 17. In Australia, kick-off will be at 10pm on June 17th.

What TV Channel is it on and can I live stream it? In Australia, the only network with live broadcast rights is SBS. SBS Radio will also cover games that aren’t broadcast. Optus Sport in Australia will broadcast every game live as well via live streaming, however it will be available to subscribers only.

What’s the team news and who’s injured? Both sides are fully fit and raring to go here.

Who’s the referee? TBA

What happened the last time they played each other? This will be the first time these two sides will come up against each other.

Discuss