FIFA World Cup 2014 Predictions: Match #24 Italy vs. Costa Rica

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | June 17, 2014 11:10 AM EST

Final Score

Italy 0 Costa Rica 1

REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
Italy's Mario Balotelli (L) celebrates his goal against England with teammate Marco Verratti during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Amazonia arena in Manaus June 14, 2014.

Overview

The twenty fourth match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 is going to be between Italy and Costa Rica. The Group D match should be interesting as both Italy and Costa Rica know that winning this match will probably secure a place in the “group of 16”.

Teams
Italy: Italy’s match against England was the first big match of the tournament. It was not easy for Italy to start its campaign against a team like England. However, Italy did not apparently have a choice since it became a part of the “Group of Death.” The way Italy rose up to the challenge was pretty impressive. Its 2-1 win have its morale enough boost to move strongly ahead. On the other hand, the winning goal came from Mario Balotelli. Daniele De Rossi, one the other hand, said that Italy would be careful against Costa Rica. It would not want to be the second team after Uruguay to be upset by the Central American team.

Costa Rica: Rossi said it right. Costa Rica’s win against Uruguay upset all the equations in the group. It proves once again that football is not played on paper. Its 3-1 win against the South American team was the first major shock in the tournament. It did what nobody imagined. The “Group of Death” has become even more lethal. Despite conceding a penalty and trailing 0-1, it came back heavily in the second half. Joel Campbell, Óscar Duarte and Marco Ureña scored one after another. Now it has Italy to face. Expect the unexpected.

Head to Head
These two teams played only once before. There was only one goal that separated them. Italy scored it.

Key Players
Italy: Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli
Costa Rica: Joel Campbell, Óscar Duarte and Marco Ureña

Date, Time & Venue
Brazil’s time zone is UTC/GMT -3. The match starts at 1 pm (local time) on June 20, which means it is 2 am on June 21 in New South Wales, Australia. The match will be held at Arena Pernambuco in Recife.

Prediction
Costa Rica will no longer shock the world although it will score. Italy will be clinical and win it 3-1.

Group Predictions
Group A, Group B, Group C, Group D, Group E, Group F, Group G & Group H

Reference: FIFA

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado / )
Italy's Mario Balotelli (L) celebrates his goal against England with teammate Marco Verratti during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Amazonia arena in Manaus June 14, 2014.
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