Fifa World Cup 2014: England will pray for an Italian win

Recife (Brazil), June 20: Gianluigi Buffon, the Juventus goalkeeper, is likely to return to Italy's crucial World Cup clash with Costa Rica in Group D at the Aena Pernambuco here on Friday.

Both teams have won their first match of the 2014 Fifa World Cup and whoever win today's game will go one step closer to the second round. Italy, Costa Rica and Uruguay are tied at three points now, with Uruguay having played a match extra.


England will be closely watching this encounter for even a mere draw will put them out of the tournament. England, who have lost both their games in the group so far, will be praying for an Italian victory.

Buffon suffered a slight ankle strain during the team's training ahead of the opening match against England. Though coach Cesare Prandelli played down the injury in the beginning, Buffon was ultimately ruled out of the game.

Italy will bank on Salvatore Sirigu, Matteo Darmian and of course Mario Balotelli, who scored the winner against England the other night.

England need Italy to win both its matches to stay afloat in the competition

Costa Rica, on the other hand, will look to continue with it good form. The central American side came from behind to beat former champions Uruguay 3-1 in their opening match, proving forecasts about them being the underdogs in this group wrong.

The team made up for the loss of defender Bryan Oviedo and will look to captain Bryan Ruiz. Against Uruguay, the los Ticos scored more than twice, and this achievement came in a World Cup in 11 attempts.

Italy and Costa Rica have never faced each other in the World Cup. The only meeting between them so far has been a friendly in June 1994 ahead of that year's World Cup with Italy winning it 1-0.
The Italians have scored in each of their last 15 World Cup matches while Costa Rica have scored in each of their six matches against teams from the UEFA confederation in the World Cup.

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