World Cup 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014 at 17:00 GMT (13:00 Local time)
Arena Pernambuco, Recife
Italy vs Costa Rica Preview
The winners from the first matches in Group D, Italy and Costa Rica will play the first official game against each other, and the eventual winner of this challenge will be one foot in the next round. Although it seems that Costa Rica is slightly ahead because of a 3-1 victory against Uruguay, quality and experience are on the side of Italy.
Italy has done a great job winning against great rivals England, 2-1, but eventual blunder against rivals in the group would be their step back, since awkward Uruguay is their last opponent. But such a possibility is really small, regardless of an interesting team of Costa Rica and their surprising victory against the favored Uruguay. Italy has been probably the most skilled team on tournaments, as they have achieved great successes when they played poorly, and when no one expected that they were able to go ahead. Because of this, Italy will have a very serious approach to this game, without underestimating the opponent, but with some changes in the composition of the team, taking into consideration that style of Costa Rica’s playing is different than England. I expect more offensive line-up with three attackers, but also Chiellini at a place of central defender, since de Sciglio will be next to left line.
Probable line-up of Italy (4-3-3): Buffon – Darmian, Paletta, Chiellini, de Sciglio – Pirlo, De Rossi, Marchisio – Candreva, Balotelli, Insigne
Costa Rica has made a really big surprise in their first game of the World Cup, beating Uruguay, even convincingly, 3-1. Many think that Costa Rica is not so good and that the victory in the first round was a result of the current weakness of Uruguay. It is expected that they confirm their quality against Italy, but it’s really hard test and it is not fairly to evaluate their success in the first round according to result of this game. There is no doubt that Costa Rica will give strong resistance to Italy, and focus of the game will be in the middle field and defense.
Probable line-up of Costa Rica (4-2-3-1): Navas – Gamboa, Duarte, Gonzalez, Umana – Diaz Tejeda – Ruiz, Borges, Bolanos – Campbell
Italy vs Costa Rica Match Prediction
Italy’s players are too experienced to allow blunder in this game, so I believe they will achieve another victory. However, my suggestion is: Anytime Goalscorer – Balotelli.