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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before