Game on: Lineups and talking points as Costa Rica takes aim at Italy

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Italy and Costa Rica are set to clash for Group D supremacy at Noon ET, but how much of a chance the CONCACAF nation stands of upsetting one of the world’s all-time powers is being discussed around the world.

Jose Mourinho says another Costa Rican upset is not on the cards, much to the consternation of admiring CRC coach Jorge Luis Pinto.

[ MORE: Italy tops England | Costa Rica surprises Uruguay]
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LINEUPS:

Italy — Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Darmian; De Rossi; Candreva, Pirlo, Thiago Motta, Marchisio; Balotelli

Costa Rica — Navas, Gonzalez, Omana, Burgas, Duarte, Bolanos, Ruiz Diaz, Gamboa, Tejada, Campbell

Talking points

1. How will the weather affect Italy? Head coach Cesar Prandelli called the Manaus conditions “ridiculous” in Italia’s 2-1 win over England, but says it won’t be an excuse. Costa Rican midfielder Christian Bolanos:

“We have a lot of respect for them (Italy)… but we’ll hope to benefit from the heavy climate. We are used to playing in those kinds of temperatures.”

2. Can Costa Rica spring upset No. 2? The most simple of talking points seems to be the No. 1 thing daunting Los Ticos. Can Costa Rica really knock off Uruguay and Italy in consecutive matches? Stranger things have happened.

Expectation: Prolonged feeling-out periods.

One blogger’s prediction: Italy scores early, then stacks the gondolas en route to a 1-0 win.

Raiola: Zlatan to “100 percent” stay in Europe for two seasons

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 and coming off major knee surgery, but that isn’t stopping suitors from lining up across Europe.

Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, says that MLS is not an option for the Swede over the next two seasons. From Sky Sports:

“Many clubs have asked for Zlatan. He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent.”

It would make sense for Ibrahimovic to stay around Manchester United, where he is admired by Jose Mourinho and coming off a season that showed he’s still capable of contributing at a high level. Mourinho would give him the time to recover and a

But he remains beloved in Italy, and would be effective for most clubs in the Top 5 leagues should he return at even 75 percent of the Zlatan we’ve seen regularly.

Report: Manchester United, Inter Milan keen on Perisic deal

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Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.

Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.

United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.

Celtic secures trophy treble, ends Scottish season unbeaten

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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Celtic completed a trophy treble in Scottish soccer and finished the domestic season undefeated after beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final thanks to an injury-time goal on Saturday.

Midfielder Tom Rogic scored from an acute angle in the second minute of stoppage time at Hampden Park to ensure Celtic added the cup to the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Brendan Rodgers became the third manager, after Jock Stein (1967, 1969) and Martin O’Neill (2001), to lead Celtic to a treble of domestic titles.

Celtic hasn’t lost any of its 47 games across in the league and both cups, and is the first team to go through the whole of a Scottish domestic season unbeaten.

No China for Costa: It’ll be Chelsea or Atletico Madrid

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Blues striker Diego Costa offered some insight into his future following Chelsea’s FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal on Saturday.

The combustible striker was subject to a head-turning bid from the Chinese Super League this winter, but is only looking at two European locations for his future.

Those are his current club, Chelsea, as well as former home at Atletico Madrid.

[ JPW: Poignant FA Cup Final reflects English mood ]

The 28-year-old Costa has kept his scoring pace level since arriving in the Premier League. He scored 64 goals in 134 matches for Atleti, and has notched 58 goals for Chelsea in 120 appearances.

Costa reportedly said, “No, no, no” when asked about China, as well as the following: