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2014 World Cup Day Nine Open Thread

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MORE FOOTBALL! ALL THE FOOTBALL! THREE GAMES OF FOOTBALL!

You berk, Steven. You useless berk.
You berk, Steven. You useless berk.
Richard Heathcote

Despite being someone partial to England, this World Cup has been great. It could become even greater if Italy do England a massive favour. Maybe the Queen will even kiss Balotelli on the cheek if they help England out. Though if I were him, I'd prefer a kiss on the cheek from the Duchess of Cambridge. So, yeah: Forza Azurri!

Who's On Today's Docket?

Group D: Italy v Costa Rica - Noon ET/9 AM PT
Group E: Switzerland v France - 3 PM ET/Noon PT
Group E: Honduras v Ecuador - 5 PM ET/2 PM PT

Who's Going Home Today?

Should Italy fail to beat Costa Rica, England would be officially eliminated, while a Costa Rica win would seal an unlikely qualification to the round of sixteen. If Switzerland and France draw, a loser in the Honduras-Ecuador match would be eliminated. Should one of Switzerland or France win, a Honduras loss would see them eliminated.

What To Watch For?

Arsenal's Joel Campbell will start against an Italian defence that may feature Giorgio Chiellini, a centre back, at left back. Campbell, with his pace and skill, could exploit that.

Olivier Giroud will probably start on the bench, as will Laurent Koscielny, as Didier Deschamps continues to not start his best centre back.

Arsenal have been linked with Mario Balotelli, who starts against Costa Rica, and Karim Benzema who will likely start against Switzerland. Arsenal have also been linked with everyone who has ever played for France, ever, so if you want to do some amateur scouting, they're the team to watch.

Is it on the moving picture box?

Yes! All three games are on ESPN, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. CBC has you covered in Canada and ITV Player has you covered in the UK. Other listings are on LiveSoccer.TV