Costa Rica and Serbia would try to knock out each other on June 17, 2018. Group E participants will meet at the Samara Arena and looks like it will be a tough match for both.
Costa Rica had reached final 8 in the 2014 World Cup. They would be glad to do the same again but will it be possible under the Russian conditions, is a thing to ponder about. When they were able to shock the football world by coming out with flying colors in a group having England, Uruguay and Italy, the same magic can be woven again.
A number of stalwarts adorn the team Costa Rica. Keylor Navas from Real Madrid, Bologna’s Giancarlo Gonzalez, Aguilas Dorados’ Johny Acosta and Bryon Ruiz from Sporting Lisbon are a handful of people who need to take up responsibility and perform like never before. Norrkoping’s young player, Ian Smith needs to be watched and groomed for future matches.
Costa Rica has been heavily dependent on Joel Campbell (at forward position) along with Ruiz and Navas. But both Campbell and Ruiz are having a bad day at the grounds and they have to get ready for the cup without any further delays. The youngsters like Marin, Leal and Torres also do not seem to get close to the perfection.
Serbia failed miserably in their last 3 tournaments but managed to qualify for the world cup. The star Dusan Tadic from Southampton made a major contribution to his side. The experienced players include goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, captain Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic. Zenit St. Petersburg’s defender, Ivanovic has remarkable leadership qualities and Matic is a strong mid fielder from Manchester United.
Forwards Aleksander Mitrovic and Aleksander Prijovic are the 2 goal scorers that can change the fate of the side. Andrija Pavlovic is another dependable one. In the last 8 games, Serbia gave away 10 goals, most of them due to mistakes in the defense. It is noted that the squad relies too much on Tadic and they have nowhere to go if he is put under control. But this time, Adem Ljajic and Sergej Milinkovic Savic are given a chance to show their mettle. More than anything else, the team must keep their cool on the match and not fear the opponents.
Although many believe that the golden time of Costa Rican squad has already passed, if they are able to turn the tables this time, then there is nothing like it.