Italian national team coach Cesare Prandelli is expected to make at least three changes to the side that beat England 2-1 in their inaugural World Cup match last Saturday.
The former Fiorentina tactician will effect some minor tweaks to his team, as he hopes to improve upon certain areas that did not quite work as he would have liked against Roy Hodgson’s men.
With Gianluigi Buffon returning from injury, La Gazzetta dello Sport has today reported that Thiago Motta and Ignazio Abate will also be handed a starting berth in the game with Costa Rica this Friday.
AC Milan defender Abate is expected to fill in at right back with Matteo Darmian moving over to the left. This would mean that Gabriel Paletta drops to the bench to allow Giorgio Chiellini back into his preferred central defensive role.
Brazilian born Thiago Motta will replace Marco Verratti, after the diminutive midfielder complained of exhaustion in the match against the English.
Keeper Buffon, should his ankle give him no further pain, will replace the admirable Salvatore Sirigu between the posts.