Costa Rica vs Panama
World Cup Qualifiers – North & Central America
Date: Friday, 9th June 2017
Kick-off at 3:00 UK/ 4:00 CET
Venue: Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica.
Costa Rica couldn’t make use of the good start to their World Cup campaign. They started off wins against Trinidad & Tobago and USA with clean sheets. Since then, they lost to Mexico and were held to a draw by Honduras. The latest two results are particularly disappointing after the team showed excellent attacking display in the 4-0 rout of the US men’s national team.
The La Sele are sitting at second in the table, but it is a vulnerable position as the group contains just six teams and Trinidad at the foot of the table is 4 points away. The table toppers Mexico have pulled 3 point clear off Costa Rica, while the third to fifth placed teams are inside a 3 point gap.
However, Costa Rica have played just 1 game at home, which was against USA. So the head-coach Oscar Ramirez will be looking to pick maximum points from the remaining matches at home turf.
Panama are sitting at third, 2 points behind Costa Rica. They started off with an away win at Honduras, since then it has been 2 draws and a loss.
The positives for Panama is their resilient nature while coming against the heavy weights in the zone. They already picked up draws against both Mexico and USA and a team like Costa Rica fall in that category.
Costa Rica vs Panama: Head-to-head
Panama defeated Costa Rica 1-0 when the teams met at the Copa Centroamericana in January this year.
The last five h2h meetings is evenly split with 2 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses.
However, Costa Rica are unbeaten against Panama in their home games. The last 8 saw 7 wins and 1 draw.
Costa Rica vs Panama: Prediction
With almost all of their key players available for selection, Costa Rica are expected to play in a different gear. This could be the main reason for bookies to make the home team heavy favourites and we do agree with that assessment.
However, Panama have already shown us that they are no pushovers with their knack of getting away with draws against stronger teams. Therefore, we find value in backing Panama on Asian handicap bets.
Costa Rica vs Panama: Bet Tips
The value is in backing Panama on a +1 Asian handicap to win at 1.83 odds with Bet365.
Alternatively, we could go for Under 2.5 goals as both teams are known for their strong defense. The best odds can be found at Pinnacle in the region of 1.58.