Two resolute defensive teams will lock horns in this final Group E fixture, and this match could well determine who progresses and who goes home. With group favourites Brazil taking on Serbia at the same time, and the South Americans the clear favourite to progress, both matches will have a huge impact on the final standings.
Costa Rica came into this World Cup once again facing a group that should be beyond them. Although they proved what they could do in Brazil by topping a pool containing former winners Uruguay, Italy and England, they Central Americans were the heavy favourite to finish at the bottom of Group E.
Switzerland will be quietly confident in this match. They have progressed to the Round of 16 in two of the last three tournaments and have never lost to a CONCACAF nation at the World Cup. Switzerland will show respect to a team with a giant-killing pedigree, although have shown us that they have enough quality to get over the line.
It is not out of the question that this match will finish scoreless. Switzerland showed against Northern Ireland that they are happy to sit back and defend at times, and managed only a questionable penalty in 180 minutes of football against them. Meanwhile Costa Rica conceded just 3 goals in 5 matches in 2014 and boast one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
It is therefore important to consider context before placing a wager on this match. If Costa Rica are still alive in this tricky group, they will most likely need a win to progress. This could mean a change in their tactics, and bring Switzerland’s counter attack into play. If they only need a draw to progress, it will be Switzerland who is more likely to step onto the front foot.
In terms of odds, all the money is with the Europeans to win this match. Switzerland start at odds of -125, while Costa Rica are +360 and the draw is available at +248. On paper, Switzerland boast the better side, although we think they may struggle to score against Costa Rica. Perhaps it will be they who only need a draw to progress, further boosting the case for a dour defensive display.
We recommend waiting until just prior to the match before placing a bet, although without the luxury of doing so ourselves we are going to stick with Switzerland to take all three points with a 1-0 victory. In the case that both teams enter this match needing a win, we would back Switzerland to get the job done.
When: Wednesday, Jun 27 (2pm ET)
Where: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
TV: FS1, Telemundo*