Italy v Costa Rica: World Cup 2014 match preview

A look ahead to Friday’s World Cup Group D encounter in Recife

Both Italy and Costa Rica will be looking to continue their winning form after beating England and Uruguay respectively in their first games.

LIVE: Follow the latest news from Italy v Costa Rica

The two will battle for top-spot in Group D in Recife with the winner pulling clear of the rest of the pack, however due to Uruguay's win over England, neither will be 100 per cent sure of a place in the Last 16, whatever the result.

Even England, who have lost their first two games, could still qualify should Italy win today.

Costa Rica gave the tournament its first major upset by beating Uruguay 3-1 in a shock comeback victory. Joel Campbell has been the surprise breakout player from the Central American team. The Arsenal player opened the scoring goal for Los Ticos and laid on the third goal.

However, some may point to the fact Uruguay were missing their star striker Luis Suarez from that match. It is to be seen how the Costa Rica back line hold up under the threat of a different world class striker in Mario Balotelli, who headed in the winning goal against England in Italy’s opening match.

A lingering question for the Azzurri though is if Mario and Luigi will be playing together. Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon missed the England game with a sprained ankle and his future in the tournament is suspect. Paris Saint-Germain keeper Salavtore Sirigu filled in against England.

Kick-off: Friday, 5pm

Past meeting:

Italy 1 (Signorri) Costa Rica 0, Friendly, June 1994

Stats:

Italy’s 93 percent pass completion against England is the highest ever recorded in the World Cup since 1966.

Costa Rica has never won two consecutive games at the World Cup, but the team has scored in all of their World Cup games against European teams.

In the last round of qualifying in CONCACAF, Costa Rica conceded the least amount of goals of all the teams by only letting in 7 goals in 10 matches.

Italy has not been held scoreless in their last 15 World Cup matches. The last time they failed to convert any chances was in 1998 when they lost to France.

Odds:

Italy to win: 1.53

Costa Rica to win: 7.2

Draw: 4.2

TV: Live on BBC One at 5pm

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn