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Italy's national football team warm-up during a training session at the Arena Pernambuco in RecifeReuters

Italy take on Costa Rica in a crucial Group D fixture in the 2014 Fifa World Cup at the Arena Pernambuco, Recife on Friday.

Where to Watch Live

The kick-off is set for 5pm BST. Live coverage is on BBC. Radio commentary of the game will be available on BBC Radio 5 Live.


Italy come into the game buoyed by the return of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to training. The Azzurri will be favourites to win the game. England will be hoping Italy whoop their next opponents, as their World Cup campaign entirely depends on the Italians winning their matches.

Cesare Prandelli will hope his side can maintain their form and star striker Mario Balotelli's performance will be the key. The Italians seem to be developing a new style of football under Prandelli, one that involves a lot of passing and possession.

Against England, the Azzurri managed 554 passes, with a 93.2% pass completion rate, making it the highest ever recorded in a World Cup game.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica's national football player Joel Campbell (R) warms-up with his teammates during a training session at the Arena Pernambuco in RecifeReuters

Meanwhile, Costa Rica will come into the game high on confidence after the win against Uruguay in their opening fixture. They will also be more suited to the hot weather in Recife, which could help them pull off another upset. The Costa Ricans have not made the knockout phase of a World Cup since Italia '90.

Jorge Luis Pinto will stick to the same lineup that served him well against the Uruguayans. With five defenders and four midfielders, they will be primed for the counter-attack with the speedy Joel Campbell once again leading the line.

What Managers Say

Cesare Prandelli (Italy): "We're ready. We don't have any more excuses. The climate doesn't scare us anymore. The squads scare us — the squads that increase their pace during matches. So tomorrow, I think we're going to be suffering. I really believe that we will suffer, but we have an idea of what we're going to be doing on the pitch."

Jorge Luis Pinto (Costa Rica): "We hope to play even better than we did against Uruguay. Yes, we are in the 'group of death' and that's because the four of us are really good. We are thinking about ourselves and what we can do, how we can improve our tactics, our play with the ball, our transitions and our mistakes from the Uruguay game. That is all."

Team Form


  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W D D L
  • Last result: Italy 2 – 1 England

Costa Rica

  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W D L W L
  • Last result: Costa Rica 3 – 1 Uruguay


  • Injured: N/A
  • Doubtful: Buffon (ankle), De Sciglio (leg)
  • Suspended: N/A

Possible Lineup: Buffon; Chiellini, Barzagli, Paletta, Darmian; De Rossi, Verratti, Pirlo, Marchisio, Candreva; Balotelli.

Costa Rica

  • Injured: N/A
  • Doubtful: N/A
  • Suspended: N/A

Possible lineup: Navas; Gonzalez, Umana, Duarte, Gamboa; Bolanos, Diaz, Tejeda, Borges; Ruiz; Campbell.