Costa Rica vs Serbia 2018 World Cup Group E Betting Preview

Costa Rica vs Serbia 2018 World Cup Group E Betting Preview

Group E is an intriguing one, with three teams that all have confidence in their chance to come in second place — and then there’s Brazil, who stand head and shoulders above the rest. Costa Rica and Serbia tangle on Sunday, in a matchup between one of the oldest rosters in the World Cup, in Costa Rica, most of whom were on the team that rode all the way to the quarterfinals in Brazil in 2014, and a team that has not made it through group play since the World Cup was in France in 1998. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic leads the Serbian side, which also features some young, dangerous attackers. Can Costa Rica keep things going, or will youth have its day? Check out our 2018 World Cup betting preview of this World Cup tilt.

Costa Rica vs Serbia 2018 World Cup Group E Betting Preview

When: Sunday, June 17, 2018, 8:00am ET Where: Cosmos Arena, Samara, Russia TV: FOX Radio: None Live Stream: Live Soccer TV 2018 World Cup Odds: Serbia -109 / Draw +238 / Costa Rica +396

Why should you bet on Costa Rica?

While the Ticos did surprise observers with their deep run in 2014, they have not played well lately, dropping six of their last eight matches. In a pair of friendlies against England and Belgium, they lost both by a combined score of 6-1, and offense has been a problem for them for some time now, as they have not scored more than one goal in nine of their last ten matches overall. It appears that the world has caught up to Costa Rica, and it will be interesting to see if they have what it takes to find the back of the net on the world’s biggest stage once again. Keylor Navas was sensational in goal in 2014 and will need a similar performance this year. Striker Joel Campbell has the scoring touch, but Costa Rica will need more out of Marco Urena to win here. On the intangible side, Costa Rica has the experience of having made that deep run in 2014, and of the two teams they have the better defense. They also have an older roster, which can lead to getting beaten down the field, but it can also lead to sharper play in instinctive situations that require experience. However, the biggest question for the Ticos has to do with whether they can simply score. Against that creaky Serbian defense, they should get the opportunity.

Why should you bet on Serbia?

Serbia enter the 2018 World Cup on a bit of a roll, having won four of seven and have routed Bolivia in their latest friendly, by the score of 5 to 1. In addition to Milinkovic-Savic, they have Aleksandar Mitrovic, Nemanja Matic and Luka Milivojevic, all of whom can find the back of the net. Serbia has at least two goals in three of its last six matches overall. The problem for the Serbians is that their defenders are on the older side, and they can make some baffling mistakes at just the wrong time, which is a factor in the Serbs posting just one clean sheet in their last five matches. Serbia needs to get more consistency from the back line if they want to make noise in this tournament. Serbia has the better offense of the two teams, and they have the better run of play lately. If you plan to run with the favorites here, you see them breaking through an aging Costa Rican front line and finding the momentum to pour balls at the net. You also see that speed snapping possession away from Costa Rica in the midfield so that the Ticos won’t be able to test that iffy back line very much.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I was a big fan of the Ticos’ run back in 2014. However, not much youth has come onto the roster in the four years since then, and Serbia has enough youth to make Costa Rica pay for mistakes in possession. I see Serbia winning by the score of 2 to 1.