Betting Special: Can Costa Rica's defence stand up to Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder?

Having built their surprise World Cup success on a solid defensive foundation, Al Hain-Cole weighs up Los Ticos' chances of shutting out the tournament's top-scoring side
World Cup surprise packages Costa Rica will be hoping to pull off their greatest shock yet when they take on Netherlands in Saturday’s quarter-final.

Costa Rica Special

Odds from bet365
Over 1.5 Dutch goals
Highest-scoring half (2nd)
Both teams to score
Van Persie to score anytime
Robben to score anytime 6/4
Under 0.5 first-half goals
Over 2.5 Dutch goals
Success so far has been built on a solid defence who have conceded just twice in four matches en route to the last eight and only once from open play.

However, with the likes of Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder with which to contend, it is no surprise that Los Ticos are 7/1 (8.00) outsiders with bet365 to come out top against the 1/2 (1.50) favourites, with the draw priced at 10/3 (4.33).

In fact, Jorge Luis Pinto's team are available at lengthy 9/2 (5.50) odds to shut out the tournament's current top scorers, just as they did against both Italy and England in the group stages.

Having scored at least twice in every match so far, Louis van Gaal's team are priced at a slim 8/11 (1.73) to become the first side to put two goals or more past their resolute opponents and 12/5 (3.40) to find at least three.

On three goals apiece, Robben and Van Persie are expected to pose the greatest threat, as reflected in their respective 6/4 (2.50) and 6/5 (2.20) anytime or 7/2 (4.50) and 9/2 (5.00) first goalscorer odds.

Even so, considering 10 of Oranje's 12 goals have been scored after the break, odds of 21/20 (2.05) seem like excellent value on the North Americans putting up a stern resistance in the first half before the majority of goalmouth action unfolds in the second 45.

Indeed, with no first-half goals having been scored in either of Netherlands' last two matches, odds of 13/8 (2.63) offer tempting value on Costa Rica keeping the scores tied at 0-0 when they head in at the break.

Furthermore, with just one clean sheet to their name themselves in Brazil, odds of 11/10 (2.10) are also worth considering on the Dutch weakness at the back being exposed once again in a game featuring goals at both ends.

Highest-scoring half (second) for a 2pt stake at 21/20 (2.05) with bet365
Under 0.5 first-half goals for a 1pt stake at 13/8 (2.63) with bet365

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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.