Brazil winless but not worrying yet
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Pre-tournament favourites Brazil face Costa Rica in their second of three group games as the South American giants bid to get their World Cup campaign back on track.
A draw in the opening fixture with Switzerland has given the Brazilians a somewhat false start in Russia, and Tite’s men need to put things right quickly.
Group E was considered by most as relatively open, at least before the tournament began. Switzerland’s draw with Brazil hasn’t done Costa Rica any favours, and they will need to avoid defeat on Friday, or they’ll be eliminated at the very first hurdle. Costa Rica look a shadow of the side that made it to the quarter-finals four years ago, with many of their side now over the hill in terms of age and, thus, fitness, which could have consequences in this game.
Despite potentially lacking Neymar, Brazil have the strength in depth to compensate on a one-off basis – they made it to the 2014 semi-final without him – and they’ll get the job done when it counts, with the pressure mounting on this game after their opening draw.
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