Serbia vs. Costa Rica
|Date & Time||Sunday June 17, 2018, 8:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Serbia +102 / Draw +247 / Costa Rica +315 -- Over/Under: 2
We have some Group E action as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup when Serbia takes on Costa Rica from the Cosmos Arena on Sunday.
Serbia comes into the 2018 edition of the World Cup as the 34th ranked team in the world according to the FIFA world rankings, punching their ticket to Russia by virtue of finishing at the top of Group D in UEFA World Cup qualifiers, securing 21 of a possible 30 points from the group stage. Vladimir Stojkovic is Serbia’s longest tenured goalkeeper on the squad, and is expected to start this one in what will be his 82nd appearance for the national team. Branislav Ivanovic and captain Aleksandar Kolarov will be expected to anchor the Serbian back line, while Southamption’s Dusan Tadic and Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic will be tasked to bolster the midfield. Newcastle United’s Aleksandar Mitrovic was Serbia’s top scorer in qualifying, netting six goals for the national side and will be expected to add to that tally in the tournament come the opening fixture.
Costa Rica on the other hand booked their spot in the 2018 World Cup by finishing 2nd out of 6 teams in what’s known as “the Hex” or CONCACAF’s final stage of World Cup qualifying, finishing with 16 out of a possible 30 points in the final round with a 4-4-2 record. Los Ticos will be looking to reverse their recent run of misfortune after dropping their final two qualifying matches by a final score combined of 6-1. And will be looking for Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas to be the spark plug that ignites Costa Rica’s success. Giancarlo Gonzalez, Cristian Gamboa and Johnny Acosta will each be tasked to bring their experience to Costa Rica’s back line, while Celso Borges and Christian Bolanos will have to manage Los Ticos’ midfield. Captain Bryan Ruiz will hope to combine with Joel Campbell to put some goals on the board for Costa Rica as the two top experienced players for Costa Rica up front.
These two side have never met in international competition.
Serbia comes into this matchup in the better form of the two sides. However, it was still a mixed bag of results for the Serbians against competition that Costa Rica would be considered by many to be a step above. On the other hand, Costa Rica’s recent form doesn’t inspire much confidence, but the talent is there it’s just a matter of putting all of the pieces together. All in all, I see these two sides cancelling each other out at the final whistle, while beavers punters could chase the final score of 1-1.