Even before the Netherlands’ draining quarter final in the 30 degree-plus heat of Fortaleza is taken into account there’s a far better bet than the 53/100 about them to beat Costa Rica.
It’s not coincidence that Los Ticos’ worst showing of the World Cup came against Greece in the first game in which their opposition treated them like favourites.
Facing off with more blue-blooded foes win and draw odds of 5/1 and 31/10 respectively are disrespectful to their chances.
However, the Costa Ricans had a draining duel of their own in the quarter-finals, where striker Joel Campbell looked like a punch-drunk middleweight as the clocked ticked down.
The Oranje’s untrammelled progress to this stage has seen them drawing at half-time and winning at the final whistle in all four of their outings.
It’s a 3/1 bet that Luis van Gaal’s side are drawing at the interval and winning at the end of normal time in their Salvador eliminator.
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Costa Rica’s tough to penetrate 3-5-2 formation lends further weight to the trend too, especially if the Dutch once more employ their own variation of the setup.
So far the Netherlands have clashed with two other exponents of the three centre-half system, Chile and Mexico, both games were goalless at the midway point.
If our suggested wager were to deliver it would be very much in keeping with the tournament’s ever-tautening tension in the wake the breathless group stages goal-barrage.
The round of 16 saw no fewer than six of its eight matches goalless after 45 minutes.