- Costa Rica
WorldCupAcca To Be Confirmed Squad:
Keepers: V. Stojkovic, P. Rajkovic, M. Dmitrovic
Defence: B. Ivanovic, A. Kolarov, A. Rukavina, M. Nastasic, D. Tosic, U.. Spajic, M. Veljkovic, N. Milenkovic, M. Rodic
Midfield: D. Tadic, N, Matic, A. Ljajic, L. Milivojevic, F. Kostic, A. Zivkovic, M. Gacinovic, M. Grujic, N. Maksimovic, S. Milinkovic-Savic, N. Radonjic
Forwards: A. Mitrovic, A. Prijovic, L. Jovic
Bit of a weird one to judge historically, they have only actually competed at one World Cup as “Serbia” in 2010 when they finished bottom of their group, 4 years prior to this they entered as “Serbia & Montenegro”, finishing bottom again.
All their previous involvements were as Yugoslavia, or at least some variation of it – in this period they managed 2 4th place finishes and only failed to get out of their group on 1 occasion.
WorldCupAcca The Squad:
I’ll admit, I get a lot of my knowledge here from Football Manager but even Sky Sports are using FM now to rate their players so don’t judge me. I actually really rate this side and several of the players in the squad here are from those that won the 2015 U20 World Cup
Slavoljub Muslin was sacked from his position after earning qualification because of his defensive tactics and failure to promote young players, though I’d still expect the new man to opt for experience here.
In the 2015 World Cup Rajkovic was the Golden Glove winner but age age 22 he only has 7 senior caps to his name, Stojkovic will almost certainly start in goal, the Partizan stopper has 79 caps and will be adding to them this summer. FM players amongst you though should absolutely sign Rajkovic, guys unreal.
I’d expect to see a lot of experience in the back four as well, Antonio Rukavina from Villarreal will probably start at right back, with Branislav Ivanovic playing in the centre along with Matija Nastasic and captain Aleksandar Kolarov likely to start on the left. Combined age of 125, if you were wondering.
Most of the midfield picks itself, it should be 4-2-3-1 with Nemanja Matic and Luka Milivojevic holding & I think Sergej Milinkovic-Savic may be deployed as a 2nd striker after having a very fruitful season with 14 goals from central midfield with Lazio. On the wings will be Dusan Tadic and I’d fancy Andrija Zivkovic, again check out the latter on FM.
Up top Aleksandar Mitrovic will lead the line, he’s got a decent record at international level with 13 in 35 and has been enjoying his loan spell with Fulham and in Luka Jovic they have another FM gem.
WorldCupAcca The Group:
Winning this group should really be a formality for Brazil, even if Neymar is not at 100% with the squad depth they have, the strength of the base of their team will allow the likes Coutinho, Douglas Costa, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus to cause all sorts of problems for the rest of these teams.
Switzerland come in as the 2nd seeded team, a position bought from some clever friendly arranging to boost their ranking and nothing more. Breel Embolo looks a promising player but missed most of this season with a bad ankle fracture, beyond that you’re looking at Xherdan Shaqiri to smash one in the top corner from 25 yards and Granit Xhaka to not be a complete liability.
They were lucky to qualify as it was with a contentious penalty decision against Northern Ireland in the playoffs and as far as friendlies go, wins against Belarus, Greece and Panama shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Last time out Costa Rica surprised a few but don’t get carried away. Italy and England were a pair of absolute bottle jobs in that group and then they struggled with 2 games going to penalties against Greece and an average Netherlands side.
Their qualifying campaign didn’t offer us any real surprises other than Panama qualifying ahead of the USA but results this year a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia and a 1-0 victory over Scotland.
This along with their Gold Cup performance in 2017 isn’t exactly inspiring stuff, other than a 3-0 win over French Guiana, they managed a draw against Canada, along with a couple of 1-0 wins over Honduras and Panama before bowing out to the USA.
WorldCupAcca Betting Tips:
World Cup Group E Fixtures / Results
|Cosmos Arena, Samara – June 17, 2018 4:00 pm|
|Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don – June 17, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg – June 22, 2018 3:00 pm|
|Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad – June 22, 2018 8:00 pm|
|Spartak Stadium, Spartak Stadium – June 27, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod – June 27, 2018 9:00 pm|
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