More and more drama in Group E has made this group more interesting than others. With Brazil’s below-par performances, Switzerland causing shock results and Serbia in need of win on the final match-day of the group stages, the Switzerland Vs Costa Rica encounter will be an interesting one with Switzerland fighting for only one point against Costa Rica who has nothing to lose on Wednesday evening.
Brazil and Switzerland occupy first and second spots with four points with Serbia sitting third on three points ahead of last placed Costa Rica who are out of contention for top two spots with no point yet. With any of first three having chance to finish in top two 0f Group E, both the matches will be thrilling as Brazil take on Serbia alongside the Switzerland Vs Costa Rica game.
Switzerland come into this match with a crucial 2-1 victory against Serbia and Costa Rica with a 0-2 defeat against Brazil, although it was an impressive performance for the Costa Ricans.
Both teams have faced each other twice in their footballing history with Switzerland coming on top on both occasions. So, history will be with Switzerland tonight.
Ranked sixth in FIFA rankings, Switzerland are surely living up to that high rank in this tournament. With impressive displays in the 1-1 draw against Brazil and the crucial 2-1 victory over Serbia in the last match has made their last fixture, Switzerland Vs Costa Rica less harder compared to the other two teams in the group.
Goals from forwards is still an issue for Switzerland as Seferovic has failed to find the net in the opening two matches and is expected to be replaced by Breel Embolo on Wednesday. With still in need of a point to qualify, the Swiss can’t afford to get carried away against Costa Rica but are expected to make some changes to their squad in the Switzerland Vs Costa Rica match to test depth for their potential clashes in the Round of 16.
All for one, one for all.
Switzerland fans have started a crowdfunding appeal to pay the fines imposed on three of their players at the World Cup.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 26, 2018
Tournament scorers Xherdan Shaqiri and Zuber are expected to continue on the flanks. Veteran Behrami will be rested after two impressive displays in center of midfield. Arsenal ace Granit Xhaka, who scored the stunner against Serbia is expected to start again. In defense, impressive fullbacks Ricardo Rodriguez of Milan and new Arsenal signing Stephan Lichtsteiner will continue along with the talented and presently impressive teenager Manuel Akanji.
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal, Midfielder)
Xhaka, now established as the Nation’s main central midfielder, has played his part well in the first two matches and was impressive as well as crucial in both matches. Scoring the first goal for Swiss against Serbia was important as forwards were struggling in final third and he delivered the sreamer with some style from long range.
His controversial celebration for that goal alongside teammate Shaqiri that could have lead to suspension but FIFA only imposed fines on them. His performance in the Switzerland Vs Costa Rica on Wednesday will be the key for Switzerland who are looking to stay top of Group E.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City FC, Winger)
Expectations are always high when Shaqiri is playing either for Stoke City at club level or for Switzerland at International level. He scored the winner against Serbia which proved very crucial three points for Eagles and his solo effort put a goal past goalkeeper after taking on three Serbian players.
— Football News (@FIFAWCGoals) June 22, 2018
Xherdan Shaqiri has been involved in 20 goals in his last 30 appearances for his nation. Playing on the right wing regularly and taking pivotal set-pieces, he is established as the main creative force for Switzerland in recent years. If Switzerland fall behind in tonight’s Switzerland Vs Costa Rica match, he will be the key for them to break the deadlock or score the winner.
Costa Rica, already out of the top two race in Group E will be playing their last match in Russia tonight. Quarter-finalists from last edition, they were expected to qualify for the last sixteen despite getting a hard draw in Group E with sides like Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland.
Loosing their opening match against Serbia by just one goal and then conceding two goal in stoppage time against Brazil should be considered as unfortunate for Costa Rica. They were impressive against both Brazil and Serbia but failed to find the net. Attacking movements are not working for Costa Rica as they are yet to score in Russia and it will be an issue for them against a formed and stable Switzerland defense in tonight’s Switzerland Vs Costa Rica.
Costa Rica have been eliminated from 2018 FIFA World Cup knockout-round contention. pic.twitter.com/Hdxg10EK2R
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 22, 2018
Costa Rica’s main man will be Keylor Navas again. Real Madrid’s number one was instrumental against Brazil with some world class saves. In attack, striker Joel Campbell, who missed the first two matches is expected to start in place of Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz. In a 3-5-2 formation, Sunderland’s fullback Oviedo is expected to keep his place alongside Celtic’s fullback Gamboa as the wing-backs for tonight’s Switzerland Vs Costa Rica.
Keylor Navas (Real Madrid, Goalkeeper)
Keylor Navas is his nation’s best player right now after leading them to the quarter-finals of the Brazil World Cup four years ago. His performances in Brazil led to his transfer to Real Madrid where he is the established number one for the Los Blancos.
Keylor Navas with a Man of the Match performance against Brazil. Unfortunate his side couldn’t claim a point:
4 duels won
2 fouls won pic.twitter.com/3cjgwQ9OUj
— SB (@Realmadridplace) June 22, 2018
Playing as Number one for the biggest club in the World will always put you under pressure. But despite pressure and expectations of Costa Rica fans, his performances against Serbia and Brazil were highly impressive. He will be key again in tonight’s Swtzerland Vs Costa Tica to prevent goal threats from Shaqiri and Embolo of Switzerland.
1-0 win for Costa Rica in the Switzerland Vs Costa Rica fixture who are yet to score a goal in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, have nothing to lose and will play to give something to their supporters.