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World Cup 2014: All eyes on Italy as England on brink of early elimination
ENGLAND’S World Cup hopes hang by a thread after a crushing 2-1 defeat to Uruguay last night.
Fans will face another nail biting day as any chance of the Three Lions reaching the knockout stage now lies in Italy’s hands when they take on Costa Rica at 5pm.
Should Italy fail to beat Costa Rica, it will be the first time in 56 years England will be eliminated from the first round of the tournament.
It’ll be an interesting encounter in Recife – can Costa Rica continue to upset the bigger teams?
Joseph Flachi, who runs Valentino’s restaurant in Bournemouth, said: “I think Italy can go all the way now.
“Against Costa Rica we will win 3-0. It will be no problem. I am putting a bet on Ciro (Immobile) to score the first goal.
“Pirlo and Balotelli are two wonderful players and will be important in the game. Pirlo is like a director on the pitch. He tells Balotelli to behave.
“Italy will top the group but I hope England qualify too.”
Alan Young, who has family connections in Costa Rica and iscurrently in Brazil to follow the team, said: “After surprising the world with their convincing win over Uruguay, the Costa Rican team will be brimming with confidence and I don’t expect any of the first match jitters that we saw at the start of that game.
“Costa Rica will try to take the initiative against Italy and give everything to guarantee an historic place in the second round.
“While striker Joel Campbell’s performance will continue to be a major factor in Costa Rica’s success, midfielders Celso Borges and Yeltsin Tejeda will need to demonstrate why they’ve also been tipped for Europe’s big leagues in order to take control of the game away from Pirlo and company.
“2-0 to Costa Rica!”
The second game of the day in Salvador, 8pm, sees European rivals France and Switzerland go head-to-head.
Both teams won their first game and will be confident tonight.
Swiss-born Sasha Hasatroudi, who lives in Talbot Woods, will be watching.
He said: “The first game was really good. We played nice tight football and Ecuador struggled in the second half a lot.
“France will not take it easy on Switzerland, but if they underestimate them they could get taken by surprise – I wouldn’t put it past them.
“A draw would be fantastic against France. Even if Switzerland lose against France all they will need to do is beat Honduras and they will be through.”
The day rounds off with Honduras taking on Ecuador.
Both teams lost their first Group E games, to France and Switzerland respectively, and will be looking to bounce back and give themselves a chance of causing an upset in the group.
The match kicks off at 11pm British time in Curitiba.
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