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World Cup: Italy v Costa Rica

 

 

 

Italy Screenshot 2014-05-30 11.37.01

• Buffon has a good chance of returning for Italy and if fit is expected to start.
• Full back De Sciglio is still yet to train with the squad and looks far less likely to be available. • Outfield players expected to remain the same as those who defeated England.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful

De Rossi – CM – 60% Barzagli – CB – 60% Buffon – GK – 50% De Sciglio – LB – 20%

Returning

None

Expected Team (4-3-3)

Team News

Italy could still be without De Sciglio for this game as the full back is still yet to train following an injury picked up last week. Even if fit, they may just decide to be cautious with him along with Buffon. He appears more likely to return with medical staff anticipating that he will be ok for the match. However he is still recovering and there are no guarantees. They may decide not to risk him once again.

Neither De Rossi (neck) nor Barzagli (tendonitis) took part in training on Monday. Their participation is questionable at present. If they do not make it, then Motta will likely come in for De Rossi while Bonucci will replace Barzagli.

There are not expected to be too many tactical changes to the team if any. Verratti had some struggles defensively during the match and if Prandelli feels that is something that might be exposed here then there is a potential start for Thiago Motta who replaced Verratti during the last game.

Balotelli’s goal and overall performance should see him retain his place up front with that proving a contentious area based on form. Prandelli may have initially seen this game as an opportunity to possibly make a couple of changes and even play two up front but following Costa Rica’s win there isn’t likely to be any complacency.

Bench (from): Perin GK, Buffon GK, Abate RB, Bonucci CB, De Sciglio LB, Aquilani CM, Motta CM, Parolo CM, Cerci SS, Cassano ST, Immobile ST, Insigne ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Expect Italy to control the game and be patient, varying their tempo according to the pattern of the match.
  •   Italy regularly looked to lift long passes from deep over the England defence in search of Balotelli at the weekend andwhilst Costa Rica are likely to operate with a back 5 it is certainly feasible for this to be a successful route to goal as Costa Rica didn’t always look comfortable when Uruguay tried to do this. Italy have far superior passers of the ball that should be able to find the supply as well.
  •   Italy scored from a well worked set piece in their last match and this again is a weakness of the Costa Ricans who be susceptible due to their robust approach.Motivational Keys to the Game:
  •   The results at the weekend have given greater belief that Italy will go on and win Group D and will have surely increased the confidence of the side.
  •   Italy and England have arguably benefitted from the fixture list as there will now be no underestimating Costa Rica following their impressive victory over Uruguay.

 

Costa Rica Screenshot 2014-05-30 12.32.33

• Costa Rica have no injury news and expected to name same starting eleven. • Confidence and belief in team high following shock win over Uruguay.
• Aggressive approach comes with great risk with Italy a threat from set plays.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful

None

Returning

None

Expected Team (5-4-1)

Team News

Costa Rica have a fully fit squad to choose from and following last week’s unexpected success over Uruguay they are expected to name the same starting eleven.

The team lined up in a 5-4-1 prioritising defensive solidity and that will be important in this game. Campbell will start up front on his own with Ruiz and Bolanos on either flank expected to provide support. The pair will drift in field at times, more so Ruiz and that will give the team opportunities to exploit some of the vulnerabilities in the Italy side between the lines.

Gamboa and Diaz will continue in the wing back areas who, due to the set-up of the midfield, can be classed more so as full backs as they will have protection in front of them. Gamboa will provide more offensive threats than Diaz whilst Navas will continue in goal.

The centre back trio is likely to consist of the same three that performed last week including goal scorer Duarte whilst there is a robust midfield pairing of Tejeda and Borges who will have massive responsibilities in this match in controlling the threats of not just the Italy central trio but the two wide players who like to move inside. The centre backs will need to show good awareness and knowledge of when to step out and cover.

Bench (from): Cambronero GK, Pemberton GK, Myrie RB/LB, Acosta CB, Miller CB, Francis LB, Barrantes DM, Cubero DM, Granados DM, Calvo LW, Brenes ST, Urena ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Costa Rica will prioritise defensive organisation in this match and look to play on the counter attack. The advantage they had over Uruguay was the fitness and energy levels. Uruguay looked tired in the 2nd half but Italy conserve their energy much better during a game through their ball retention.
  •   Costa Rica will look to some of the successes that England had during their game with Italy and particularly the way they utilised their pace. Joel Campbell can provide that threat, dropping short to run at the Italy defence and spinning in behind them and into channels. Darmian is more likely to break forward than Chiellini so Bolanos will be an important outlet also down that flank. That also has defensive benefits with Chiellini a likely outlet for Italy due to Ruiz’s narrow positioning offensively.Motivational Keys to the Game:
  •   The world will have taken notice of Costa Rica now following the excellent win over Uruguay. There is still no pressure on them as they are still not expected to get out of the group but they have an advantageous position where anything they get from this game will really make the final set of fixtures interesting.
  •   The team will play with confidence, spirit and are seemingly thriving on the underdogs tag. The fact they suffered no negative psychological effect from going 1-0 down to Uruguay portrays their current mental state.

 

Group D – Game 2
Italy (9) v Costa Rica (19).

Both teams won their opening games to put themselves in a great position in Group D. Italy, in particular, will feel they can win here and, depending on the result between Uruguay and England, seal qualification to the next round a game early.

Conditions are likely to be hot and humid, which should suit Costa Rica, but the expected rain showers may produce a slick surface perfect for Pirlo to fire the ball around and dictate play for Italy.

Since 2012 Italy have played six matches against teams with a grading of 5-15 points below them (Costa Rica are 10 points below) and five of the matches have had at least three goals. Furthermore, they’ve conceded in 14 of their last 17 matches, including eight of their last nine. Italy have always tended to draw a lot of group matches at major championships and their last five second group games have all finished 1-1.

Costa Rica were impressive against Uruguay after conceding an early penalty but that was the 11th consecutive game they’ve conceded in. Since 1990 they’ve played six World Cup matches against European sides and have scored in every one, with both sides netting in the last six. Furthermore, 10 of their last 11 competitive matches against top-10 ranked sides have had at least three goals, although only two of these games were in the last three years.

Italy should be too good for Costa Rica but they have looked vulnerable defensively and Costa Rica look capable of at least scoring here.

 

 

Recommendation:

Both Teams to Score – Yes at $2.10 with Screenshot 2014-06-11 12.00.02

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2014-06-13 12.52.23

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