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With the Azzurri defence looking slightly shaky in recent fixtures, Al Hain-Cole expects Group D's surprise package to find some joy on a hot afternoon at the Arena Pernambuco

After coming out on top in their respective World Cup openers, Italy and Costa Rica will be hoping to put one foot in the last 16 when they come face-to-face in Recife on Friday.

Having secured an important 2-1 victory against England, Cesare Prandelli’s men are clear 1/2 (1.50) favourites with William Hill to collect maximum points here.

Los Ticos defied their label as Group D whipping boys by running out 3-1 winners against Uruguay in their first match but are considerable 6/1 (7.00) outsiders to pull off another shock against the four-time world champions.

The Central Americans have only ever drawn one fixture at the World Cup finals, but you can get odds of 3/1 (4.00) on them picking up a valuable point this time out.

After labelling the shock result against Uruguay an ‘alarm-bell,’ Azzurri midfielder Daniele De Rossi has insisted that this is his side’s ‘most dangerous’ fixture due partly to an early kick-off that sees them take to the field at 1pm local time.

The Roma midfielder pinpointed the heat as a major factor in his side’s sloppy defensive display during last summer’s 4-3 Confederations Cup victory over Japan in Recife and it would be no surprise should they look less than solid once again on their return to the Arena Pernambuco.

With just one clean sheet to their name in their last 10 matches, the Italians have looked less than convincing at the back recently, even conceding to a modest Luxembourg team in their final warm-up match on home soil.

Jorge Luis Pinto’s men will therefore come into the match with some confidence of showing the same attacking intent that earned them three goals last time out, meaning odds of 19/20 (1.95) offer solid value on over 2.5 goals going in.

That bet would have paid out in Italy’s last four competitive matches, as well as Costa Rica’s previous five in this competition.

BET
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BEST BET
Over 2.5 goals for a 2pt stake at 19/20 (1.95) with William Hill

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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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