Italy vs Costa Rica Betting Pick
Costa Rica is playing in one of the tougher groups, but pulled off a big shocker in their opener beating Uruguay 3-1. They were the big betting underdog in that match and the same thing goes facing Italy, who also won their opening match with a 2-1 win over England.
Italy has scored at least one goal in 15 straight World Cup group stage matches while Costa Rica have never won two consecutive World Cup matches.
Costa Rica was very solid, all around, in their win over Uruguay, but unlike Uruguay Italy has a great midfield led by Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi. Costa Rica is overmatched in the midfield and they must disrupt the passing game of the Italians. If Italy dominates the time of possession they will have many scoring chances while Costa Rica will not.
The Italian defense may be without starting GK Gianluigi Buffon, who is dealing with an ankle injury. The Azzurri have a good defense, but England exploited them in the opener with many legitimate scoring chances and for the match had six more shots on goal.
The Italian defense has to be wary of the counter-attack and that may be Costa Rica’s best chance to get on the scoreboard.
The one player the Italian defense really has to key on is Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell, who scored and had an assist in the opening win against Uruguay.
The strength of the Costa Rica squad is their defense, which played well in the Uruguay will thwarting the South American squad with a solid attack. They have a tall task in this match facing the great midfield of Italy and star striker Mario Balotelli, who scored the game winner in the group opener.
Costa Rica really has no pressure on them, as they are expected to lose. Just like the Uruguay match they will play good defense, dropping back more in this one, and they will pull off another surprise playing to a draw against the Azzurri.