- Germany v Costa Rica
- Thursday, December 1, 2022, 14:00 ET
- At the Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Germany takes on Costa Rica in a win at all costs battle in Group E on Thursday.
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks this is set to be one of the most one-sided games in the entire World Cup. Germany is priced as short as -1100 with some bookmakers, with Costa Rica ranked at more than +2000 across the board, and the draw available at up to +1050.
|Costa Rica v Germany|
World Cup Group E Betting Briefing
At the time of the World Cup Group stage draw, Group E was widely considered to be the toughest section in the tournament, with Germany and Spain predicted to dominate.
In fact, the Group has been a lot more intriguing than expected and has produced more than its share of goals, action and surprises across the four games so far.
The Group action began with one of the biggest World Cup shocks in history when Japan got the better of Germany in its opening game. But after beating the 2014 World Cup winners, Japan then lost against Costa Rica, which had lost its own opening game 7-0 to Spain.
Completing the second round of games was an entertaining draw between Spain and Germany, which effectively keeps Germany’s hopes of qualification alive.
Spain can almost certainly go through with a draw in its final game, as can Costa Rica but for Germany and Japan, a win is essential. The chaos in Group F, meanwhile, means that at this stage no one can predict which opponents the qualifiers from Group E will face in the Round of 16.
No Margin for Error for Germany
The opening defeat to Japan left Germany in a perilous situation but, slightly against the odds, the German players kept their qualification hopes alive in their second game, by earning a draw against Spain. That result means a victory here will see Germany through to the Round of 16, barring an unlikely win for Japan against Spain, but there is no margin for error for Hansi Flick’s team.
Flick’s adventurous tactics have a glaring flaw: his defenders are not of the same standard as the rest of the team, which leaves them dangerously exposed when the high press fails or when opposing teams break at speed. Flick’s attempts to cover for this weakness have largely been unsuccessful, and Germany was exposed defensively by Japan, who exploited a weakness on the right flank.
Those defensive weaknesses may not be fully explored by Germany’s final opponent in Group E, but if the team is go further in the competition, Flick will have to find a solution.
Costa Rica Not Hard to Predict
You could make a case for arguing that Costa Rica did not deserve to lose its opening game 7-0 against Spain. A score of 4-0 would have been reflective of the play, but there is no question that Costa Rica was comprehensively outplayed, offering very little in response.
The fact that the same team then beat Japan in its second game, might suggest that Costa Rica is hard to predict. But this is not the case. The Costa Rica gameplan has not changed substantially since the qualification tournament, when this team scored 13 and conceded 8 in 14 games.
Costa Rica focuses on being hard to break down and hopes to grab a goal on the break, from a set piece or through good fortune. That plan failed disastrously against Spain, but then Spain is one of the best teams in the world. Against Japan, the Central Americans were more effective, restricting their opponent to only three shots on target and picking up a late goal against the run of play.
These tactics can be effective in knockout games, when extra time and penalties are an option, and it is worth noting that a draw may be enough for Costa Rica, assuming that Spain beat Japan.
World Cup Group E Match Betting
Costa Rica’s chances of going toe-to-toe with Germany and emerging with a win are minute, so the only option for Luis Fernando Suarez will be to set his team up in familiar fashion and hope for either a draw or, if they get a lucky break, a goal against the run of play.
Given the way that Germany plays and its need for a win, those tactics have some merit. The question is whether Costa Rica can keep the German attackers at bay. I don’t think they will be able to do that, but the price on a German win in the Match Betting market is prohibitively short and a relatively low scoring game offers more value.