World Cup 2018: Brazil vs Costa Rica, 5 players to watch out for
Both Brazil and Costa Rica will be looking for their first win of the tournament when they meet each other in an all-important Group E match to be played at Saint-Petersburg stadium today.
The South Americans didn’t get the start they would have liked as they were held to a 1-1 draw by a gritty Switzerland side in their opening fixture and they would be itching to make amends against the Los Ticos.
Costa Rica followed even a worse result as they were undone by a brilliant Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick in their game against Serbia and Brazil clash is a must win for them if they are to stay in the hunt for the round-of-16.
Four years ago they stunned the world as they made it to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil, from a group that included Uruguay, Italy and England. A similar fate this time around is all but over as one would expect Tite's men to get the better of an ageing Costa Rican side by the time the final whistle is blown, however, they can take a leaf out of Switzerland's performance and frustrate the samba boys for as long as possible.
The Selecao will be without their right-back Danilo due to injury and Fagner is likely to start in his place, whereas Costa Rica are expected to start the same side that lost to Serbia.
Let’s take a look at five key players who could decide the tie.
Neymar was not his usual self in Brazil’s opening game as he failed to find the final pass or finish to break a well-organised Swiss defence. This was perhaps down to the fact that he was fouled umpteen times and the Swiss never really let him settle on the pitch.
The world's most expensive player had a prolific first season with Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 28 goals in 30 appearances before a foot injury saw him miss three months of competitive football.
On coming back, he scored two goals in the warm-up games against Croatia and Austria but his lack of match-sharpness was visible in the match against Switzerland.
As per reports, the forward had an injury scare when he limped out of training on Tuesday, however, he returned to the pitch next day, raising hopes among fans that he will feature on Friday.
A fit enough Neymar, on his day, can set fear among any side and Costa Rican back-line will be wary of his advances on Friday.