After hacking a path through a dense Group D jungle, Costa Rica’s first ever World Cup knockout fixture is against the weakest nation they’ve faced in Brazil.
The two goals Greece bagged to break Ivory Coast hearts in their final group-stage match doubled their tally in the tournament and everybody’s favourite underdog must fancy their chances of toppling a distinctly average European outfit.
However, before wading in with a bank-balance-busting bet on Los Ticos’ 7/5 for victory, take a second to consider Euro 2004.
Here an equally friendless Greek side not only meandered a way through their first knockout match, they went on to win the competition and did so with the least amount of frills imaginable.
They’ll adopt an equally agricultural approach in this Recife rumble so rule out Fernando Santos’ 9/4-rated charges at your peril, especially against such inexperienced adversaries.
Shared spoils in 90 minutes pays out at a reasonable 2/1, but if the match-betting conundrum is proving tougher than discount beef, consider these Greek-favouring alternatives:
Greece to keep a clean sheet @ 7/4
Only Spain (who played two fewer matches) conceded a lower number of goals in European qualifying than Piratiko, who were breached just four times.
They kept an impressive eight clean sheets in ten pre-play-off games and have shut out half of their previous six opponents leading up to this one.
Under 1.5 goals @ 27/20
In each of the last three in which the Greeks’ laundry has remained unsullied the score has finished 0-0 and half of their 12 competitive games leading up to the World Cup would’ve rewarded backers of this bet.
Costa Rica’s bagel buffet against England followed a 1-0 victory over Italy which brought the total of their last 16 matches to eight in which the 1.5 goal line proved insurmountable.
More goals to be scored in the second half @ 6/5
All four of Greece’s World Cup goals have come after the 42nd minute, while all bar two of the previous 11 Los Ticos have scored came after the 44th.
Early first-half goals are unlikely, so as long as neither side notch in the twilight of the first 45, this bet looks pretty safe.