Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Spotlight on Neymar as Brazil aim to find form

Kristopher Love | 22 June, 2018, 15:27

"All of the players have this responsibility of playing for the collective (good) and being individuals". Betway offer decent odds of 1.7 on Neymar scoring against the Costa Ricans but, in what should be a very straightforward victory, we'll combine that with Brazil winning at half-time and full-time, and scoring at least three times in our #betyourway combination.

Brazil named Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva as captain for the match in a continuation of their long-standing policy of rotating the team leadership. Having lost their first game to Serbia, Costa Rica needs to win this if they hope to stave off elimination.

When Messi started rubbing his face during the Argentinian anthem, he already wore the fatalistic expression of a man who knew his evening was going to be ruined by Willy Caballero.

"You must keep a cool head to play well and have a good performance".

Argentina crashed to a 3-0 loss against Croatia on Thursday that leaves the two-time champions facing an uphill battle to qualify for the knockout phase.

Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago, but are also in desperate need of the points after losing 1-0 to Serbia to open their campaign.

However, he returned to training on Wednesday and Tite insisted he is not running a risk by throwing Neymar straight back into the action.

Brazil, too, need a win, if only to show that their surprise draw with Switzerland in their first game of the tournament was a one-off. "Whenever we defend our colours and our shirt we want to win".

"I will speak with the players and tell them we've had a great match against Brazil but that's not enough".

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr batted back a question about his job possibly being on the line were the Super Eagles to suffer a similar fate as African rivals Egypt and Morocco. "It is a decisive game, of course", said Tite. "Both teams are fighting to qualify for the next stage so I'm sure it's going to be a very intense game".