Italy meet upstart Costa Ricans, France seek second win

Written by Reuters | Cuiaba | Updated: Jun 20 2014, 17:26pm hrs
Italy will not be resting on their laurels when they face surprise FIFA World Cup Group D leaders Costa Rica in Recife on Friday (1600 GMT) after Luis Suarez revived Uruguay's qualification hopes.

Costa Rica, seen before the tournament as the makeweights in a group with three former champions, have the superior goal difference after their shock 3-1 win over Uruguay last week.

Uruguay moved back into the frame with a 2-1 victory over England in Sao Paulo on Thursday to stand level with Italy.

The Italians will again look to Mario Balotelli, scorer of their second goal against England, to spearhead them to victory before their final group clash with Uruguay.

Former winners France meet Switzerland in Salvador (1900) as the top two clash in Group E, which the French lead after a 3-0 win over 10-man Honduras that included a Karim Benzema brace.

The Swiss will provide tougher opposition having shown their resilience to snatch a last-gasp 2-1 win over Ecuador, who go up against the Hondurans in Curitiba (2200).

Ecuador are favourites to beat a Honduras side missing the suspended Wilson Palacios who was sent off against the Swiss.