England supporters are not yet condemned to select their second team for the remainder of the World Cup, but the bulk of them will be firmly behind Italy for tonight’s game in Recife.
Anything other than three points for the Azzurri against likeable underdogs Costa Rica will see Roy Hodgson’s men eliminated and the 1/2 about them doing so will appeal to millions.
After conquering Uruguay 3-1 in match one, Ticos can be backed at 11/2 to make it six points from six, but it’s the 3/1-rated draw that holds the most appeal.
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Based on Italy’s recent results, there’s a strong possibility the spoils will be shared.
A staggering six of their last eight outings have all been tied at the death, against opposition ranging from mighty Germany to miniscule Luxembourg.
Cesare Prandelli’s men were victorious over England in their World Cup curtain raiser, but their pragmatic performance was hardly of the ilk that suggests they’ll give these Central American minnows the once over here.
Which, of course, is what the general consensus incorrectly assumed Uruguay would administer when they took on Costa Rica.
The Group D doormat made a mockery of all the pre-tournament premonitions dubbing them three points on plate for any opponent last time out and if they slip into their vibrant, attacking style once again they can certainly hassle the Italians.
Only once in their last nine outings has the scoreline been level at full time in a game involving Costa Rica, which detracts from this tip somewhat, but their only ever World Cup draw came in the second group game of the 2002 tournament.
They’ve only failed to find the net once in their last six, while Italy have just one clean sheet to speak of in their last nine, which makes a flutter on the Costa Rica/draw double chance offering at 6/4 a worthwhile exercise.