Odds to win
By: Jason Green
Hey big shock that five-time World Cup winner Brazil has the best betting odds to win Group D. They look to get over their 7-1 semifinals loss to Germany in the last World Cup, which was on home soil. Here are the odds to win Group E.
Costa Rica +2500
Brazil was light’s out in South American World Cup qualifying only losing one match. On top of that their attack may be the best in the Tournament and in 18 qualifying matches they scored 41 goals. PSG superstar Neymar leads the attack and he looks to take control of the squad in his 2nd World Cup. Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho added to the mix make the Brazil offense a scary one and to go with that their defense and midfield are also pretty solid. They went undefeated, five wins one draw, in their six friendlies before Russia where they did not concede a goal in their last Four matches. On top of that in Four of the six friendlies they faced teams that will be competing in this World Cup.
Switzerland has a good all-around squad that is led by Xherdan Shaqiri and a legit duo up front in Granit Xhaka and Ricardo Rodriguez. The Swiss have a very good midfield, do not make many mistakes, and are great at looking for the counter-attack. They went undefeated with three wins and one draw in their Four friendlies before the World Cup playing to an impressive 1-1 against 2010 champion Spain and a 2-0 win over Japan, who will be playing in Russia this summer. They have a tall task to win Group E and they will find out quickly how they stack up with their first match facing powerhouse Brazil.
Serbia has cleaned up their act after having issues with unruly fans in the last few World Cups in the qualification rounds. Nemanja Matic from Manchester United is an attacking midfielder and the team has no lack of young up and coming players like Aleksandar Mitrovic, Andrija Zivkovic, Marko Grujic, Nemanja Maksimovic, and Milos Veljkovic. Where the Serbs are strong is in the midfield and they will have to play great in that area in group play, especially facing Brazil and Switzerland. They were up and down in their five friendlies before the World Cup, but did win their last one putting up five goals. With Costa Rica as the first match they may have to win that one, where they will be the betting favorite.
Costa Rica made a magical run in the last World Cup advancing to the quarterfinals. However, can Los Ticos repeat that in a very tough group? Oddsmakers don’t think so. The defense is a great one and the team is littered with solid veteran players. Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas leads the defensive back line and the counter-attack will be vital for Costa Rica, as they are a squad that does not have a great offense up front.