Neymar Brazil
Neymar looks primed to feature against Costa RicaBuda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazil would have watched Argentina self-destruct against Croatia on Thursday and shivered a little, knowing they could very well be in the same position if they fail to show up on Friday. With that Argentina warning fresh in their minds, though, Neymar and co will be in determined mood when they look for their first win of the Fifa World Cup 2018 courtesy a positive result against Costa Rica.

Like their arch-rivals, Brazil were a little disappointing in their opening match, failing to take advantage of an early goal from Philippe Coutinho, with Neymar, in particular, coming in for criticism for what many perceived as show-boating when his side really needed their talisman to be effective.

This is a criticism that has been thrown at Neymar in the past as well – that he makes it about him and not the team – but for Brazil, on more than a few occasions, he has delivered.

This Brazil side, though, particularly with someone like Coutinho in top form, is a little different; there are other avenues to score goals, and Neymar needs to understand that, not make it about him and put the team first.

If that happens, it is hard to see anything other than a Brazil win in this match, after Costa Rica underwhelmed against Serbia in their opening game of the Fifa World Cup 2018.

Team news:


There was a slight worry over Neymar, after the PSG man held his ankle and limped out of training earlier this week, with the manager Tite claiming the injury was a result of the rough treatment meted out by Switzerland.

However, Neymar was fine the next day and is set to take his place, as was always going to be the case, in the starting XI.

Tite, though, will have to make one definite change to his lineup, with Danilo, the right-back against Switzerland, ruled out with a thigh problem picked up in training. Fagner, the Corinthians full-back will take the place of Danilo in the starting XI.

Fernandinho, who was so vital to Manchester City's record-breaking title win, looks like staying on the bench again, with Paulinho and Casemiro set to start in the middle. Coutinho seemed to enjoy his role in the last game, with Willian set to play as one of the wide attackers again.

Gabriel Jesus huffed and puffed without too much effect against Switzerland, and while some might consider Roberto Firmino a better option, it looks like Tite is going to stick with the Manchester City forward.

Costa Rica:

No injury worries and the feeling is Costa Rica manager Oscar Ramirez is set to go with the same lineup, despite that defeat to Serbia. If that is the case, then Joel Campbell, a surprise exclusion from the starting XI in the last game, will start from the bench one more time.

Confirmed starting XI:

Brazil: Alisson Becker; Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Paulinho; Willian, Philippe Coutinho, Neymar; Gabriel Jesus.

Costa Rica: Keylor Navas; Johnny Acosta, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Oscar Duarte; Cristian Gamboa, David Guzman, Celso Borges, Bryan Oviedo; Johan Venegas, Marco Urena, Bryan Ruiz.