Brazil should have completed the job against Switzerland having dominated the first half, but they’re less likely to allow the same to happen against a limited Costa Rican outfit. The Central Americans’ ageing side appear past their prime and their defeat to Serbia leaves them with seven defeats from their last nine, with Belgium and Spain (the two top-10 sides they’ve faced in this time) tearing into them as they produced a combined score of 9-1.
The only other team of real quality they’ve faced during this period were England, who have only managed to put more than two past Malta and Scotland in their last 27 outings, and Brazil should have the firepower to cover the -2 handicap.
Indeed, since Tite took over the reins in the wake of their 2016 Copa America exit, Brazil have won 17 of 22 fixtures, losing just once and keeping 16 clean sheets, while they netted at least three times in 10 of these games. That includes half of their 12 World Cup qualifiers in this time, despite the tough nature of the South American format, something Brazil made light work of as they finished 10 points ahead of their nearest rivals.
In fact, Brazil have won 3-0 in six of 22 games under Tite, making it the most common occurrence, while three of their last eight have finished that way with only a consolation strike from Japan preventing that from becoming four.
Coutinho now has three goals in five appearances as his standing has risen within the Brazilian setup, with his opener against Switzerland leaving him with nine from as many games for club and country. Neymar and Gabriel Jesus are the obvious contenders to get on the scoresheet, but at the prices we’d go for the Barca man.