Few punters put money on Italy and England catching an early plane home having finished as the bottom two teams in Group D and even fewer backed Costa Rica to top the pile and ease through to the World Cup’s knock-out stage.
Similarly, Greece weren’t exactly well-fancied to reach the last 16, especially after losing their opening fixture emphatically to Colombia, yet they will face Los Ticos tonight for a place in the quarter finals.
Georgios Samaras secured Greece’s berth in the second round with an injury-time penalty against Ivory Coast but his teammates once again start as BetVictor’s 11/5 underdogs to overhaul the Central American side (13/8, bet365) in Recife.
At 11/5 courtesy of Paddy Power, a stalemate is clearly a result bookmakers are wary of, Ladbrokes post a potentially popular 4/1 against a score draw and it’s just 11/2 at William Hill to finish goalless.
However, the Costa Ricans have been a breath of fresh air in this competition so far and approaching this contest without fear they can prolong their campaign at the expense of the inconsistent Greeks.
They’re 5/6 (bet365) to get through and in a fixture that’s odds-on at 4/9 with Stan James to produce fewer than three goals in normal time, Jorge Luis Pinto’s team catch the eye at 6/1 via BetVictor to shade it 1-0. Alternatively, Ladbrokes offer 11/4 about a triumph for Los Ticos by a one-goal margin.
Costa Rica to beat Greece by one – 16/5 (Ladbrokes)