This Saturday at 9pm the Netherlands and Costa Rica face off in a quarter final that few if any thought would happen and we have some free World Cup 2014 betting tips.
We have seen these teams play four times in this World Cup and we now have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each team.
Costa Rica may well be the surprise package of the tournament but by now we know the kind of team they are i.e. well organised, comfortable on the ball, reliant on using the pace of Joel Campbell and the trickery of Bryan Ruiz to score.
Costa Rica then are a good but limited side who have got to this stage in part because, teams have underestimated them and consequently haven't been tactically prepared. Now though things are starting to stack against them.
Firstly, Van Gaal will adapt his side's tactics to exploit Costa Rica's weaknesses. He is excellent at doing this and has done so three times already in the tournament.
Against Spain Van Gaal abandoned the traditional Dutch 4-3-3 and got his team to exploit the World Champion's high defensive line by hitting direct balls up to Van Persie and Robben.
Against Chile the Netherlands sat back deeper and played on the counter attack.
Against Mexico Van Gaal used the drink breaks to change the shape of his side and then substituted star striker Van Persie for the poacher Hunteelar. Hunteelar then went on to win the game for Holland with an assist and an ice cool stoppage time penalty.
Secondly, Costa Rica are having to deal with injuries and suspensions to key players. Centre back Oscar Duarte is suspended after his red card against Greece whilst Duarte's likely replacement Roy Miller is injured and is definitely out.
Thirdly, after playing extra time and penalties against Greece (much of which with 10 men) Costa Rica looked exhausted.
Six days of rest between the Greece match and the quarter final will help but they won't be fully recovered. Doubly so, when compared to the Netherlands who avoided extra time and played with eleven men throughout against Mexico.
Considering all this the odds are pretty much as you expect with Der Oranje being big favourites. The Netherlands come in at 1/2 with skybet to win in 90 minutes. The draw after 90 minutes is available at 10/3 with bet365 and the Costa Rica triumph in 90 minutes is available at 7/1 with betfair.
Now I won't be touching the Netherlands at those odds and I don't see Costa Rica winning in normal time either.
This leaves the question of the draw. At 10/3 it is tempting especially since I think this game is highly likely to go to extra time. However, there are much better odds to be got by going more complex than the simple draw.
With Costa Rica playing 5 defenders and packing the middle of the park with a narrow midfield four this game is going to be a tight affair and the Netherlands have lacked width in all their games. There aren't going to be many goals. You can get half time draw full time draw at 9/2 with Bet365. An even juicier bet though is 0-0 after 90 minutes which is priced up at 9/1 with Bet365.
Whilst I like the odds on a draw I also think the Netherlands will qualify. This brings me to what is one of the best bets of this entire World Cup Netherlands to win in extra time which is 7/1 with William Hill. With gargantuan effort I think Costa Rica will take Holland to extra time but the Central American's will not have the stamina to make it to penalties.
Netherlands v Costa Rica Top Tips
Half Time draw Full Time draw – Bet Here at 9/2 with Bet365
Correct score : 0-0 after 90 minutes – Bet Here at 9/1 with Bet365
Netherlands to qualify in extra time – Bet Here at 7/1 with William Hill
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