Your daily World Cup tip sheet for who’s playing when, and what to watch for. We'll deliver a new briefing the evening before every game day, highlighting the can't-miss match and which players to watch.
Match of the day: Italy vs. Uruguay
If you told me today that you knew all along that Costa
Rica would lead the Group D standings after two matches, I
would accuse you of being either a wizard or a liar. But
here we are, the minnows swimming ahead of the sharks with
the Three Lions already eliminated in a group that
exemplifies how unpredictable this World Cup has been.
Italy and Uruguay enter this match tied for second spot in
the group, three points back and in need of a result (Italy
moves on with a win or draw, while Uruguay needs a victory)
to advance out the knockout stage. The Azzurri are coming
off a lacklustre 1-0 loss to Costa Rica, while Uruguay rode
the return of Luis Suarez to a big win over England. Two
roster notes for the Italians: midfielder Daniele De Rossi
is likely out with a leg injury and Torino striker Ciro
Immobile could add some pop up front with Mario
Player to watch: Italy’s Andrea Pirlo
At 35, this is likely it for the Juventus midfielder at the World Cup level. A marvellous playmaker, he’s the key to the Italian attack, smoothly moving the ball through the centre of the pitch and producing scoring chances with his pinpoint passes. Also oozes cool with flowing locks and beard combo that make him look like he strolled right out of 1975. Costa Rica smothered him and managed to keep a clean sheet. He’ll have to work his magic for Italy to advance.
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