An excellent day to you good people, and welcome back to the Gillette Boot Room for Day 9 of the 2014 World Cup!
This tournament just keeps going, doesn’t it? Save for a dour 0-0 draw between Japan and Greece, yesterday was a treat as Colombia overcame Ivory Coast in a Group C thriller before Uruguay all but ended England’s hopes of glory with a late 2-1 victory in Group D.
But all is not lost for the Three Lions – first up, Italy can keep them in the tournament by beating Costa Rica, but only a win will save Roy Hodgson’s men. England fans, I hope you’ve called in favours with every Italian you know – today, we need a Super Mario!
After that clash in Recife, we’re off to Salvador for Switzerland vs France. Both sides got off to winning ways in Group E, and will want to keep clear of Honduras and Ecuador, who kick off the late game today in Curitiba.
We're just 20 minutes away from kick-off now at Arena Pernambuco... nerves for all concerned in Group D.
Hi Dave! They shocked Uruguay with great finishing and strong defending, but the real test will be in around 14 minutes...
We also have the man, the myth, the beard that is Andrea Pirlo running the show from the middle.
Morning Zach. Still coming to terms with England's defeat yesterday, but all is not lost!
Morning, Mike! Me too, it's a strong Azzurri side.
ygomez, happy birthday from the Gillette Boot Room!
Dave, we'll find out soon. The teams are lining up as we speak.
Morning, gq007ia! Glorious matches indeed.
Morty, I think the problem lies at the back. The back five are very good, but simply not world-class players.
Morty, I agree. But Gigi Buffon is, well, Gigi Buffon.
Red, I like Candreva. This is a big test in a game they'll be expected to take to Costa Rica.
Brilliant sunshine at Arena Pernambuco as the Italian national anthem plays out. Mario Balotelli looks happy.