The managers of both teams have some pivotal tactical and selection decisions to ponder.
The FIFA World Cup is just a week old and we have already seen a rollercoaster of emotions across all the matches. Brazil who fell short to a resolute Swiss side will again come out in search for their first win in Russia. Standing in their path are the spirited Costa Ricans.
The Los Ticos lost their opener against Serbia by a narrow margin and that could be a driving force for the spirited Central Americans who on their day can be very tricky opponents to face.
About the teams
Tite has some concerns over his talisman Neymar as the 26-year-old limped off from training with pain on his right ankle. Although, the PSG star trained the day after, his fitness still remians a big question mark for the the 57-year old manager. However, even without him, the Selecao should have enough firepower in their ranks to step in if required.
Their match against Switzerland was a game of two halves as they started with their well-known flamboyance and determination. But, in the second half, they were a different team all together. With Neymar a big concern for the 5-time champions, it could be Douglas Costa playing on the left side with the rest of the starting XI remaining the same from the last match.
Tite also has other options, like moving Philippe Coutinho into a more advanced role and slotting Fernandinho into the 3-man midfield. He also has a lethal weapon in the form of Roberto Firmino, who could start if he wants to tinker with the formation.
On the other hand, Oscar Ramirez is expected to go with the same lineup. Despite their defeat to Serbia, defender Giancarlo Gonzalez and winger Christian Gamboa were pretty impressive. Ramirez is expected to go with the same three at the back formation with Marco Urena being the lone striker upfront, to be supported by captain Bryan Ruiz and Johan Venegas.
The match will be played at the Saint Petersburg Stadium which is one of the largest stadiums in Russia and is home to Russian Premier League club Zent St. Petersburg. The stadium provides a humongous seating capacity of 64,287.
Alisson – Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo – Paulinho, Casemiro, Coutinho – Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar.
Costa Rica (3-4-2-1)
Navas – Acosta, Gonzalez, Duarte – Gamboa, Borges, Guzman, Calvo – Ruiz, Venegas – Urena.
What to Expexct
Brazil boast a 100% win record against Los Ticos with their latest win coming in September 2015, when the Selecao sneaked a 1-0 victory in New Jersey. In a World Cup clash, these two teams have met previously back in 2002 and Brazil produced a 5-0 demolition.
It certainly looks like an uphill task for Ramirez and his men, but they are known for their never-say-die attitude and the uncanny knack of performing against tougher opposition.
Khel Now Predicts
Brazil 3-1 Costa Rica