England & Italy Open Quartet Of Games

Top billing on day three at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil goes to the much-anticipated meeting between England and Italy.
A classic match-up down the years, games between the two nations have rarely disappointed and, with both fielding new-look sides, the intrigue is sure to be greater than usual.
Saturday’s encounter will be the sides’ 25th in total, with Italy holding a slight historical edge thanks to their record of nine wins, seven draws and eight defeats.
Elsewhere in Group D, Costa Rica will take on two-time winners Uruguay, who will be hoping to break their habit of slow starts, having recorded three draws and two losses since beating Israel 2-0 at Mexico 1970.
The action also begins in Group C, which, on paper, looks the most open of all. The quartet of hopefuls hail from four different continents – Africa, Asia, South America and Europe – and not only have none journeyed beyond the quarter-finals, the most experienced are Japan with just four previous World Cup participations. Colombia’s Radamel Falcao looked set to be the star of this section, but his absence through injury has further levelled the playing field.

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