Buffon returns for Italy against Costa Rica

RECIFE, Brazil (AP) Captain Gianluigi Buffon is back from injury and in goal for Italy's World Cup match against Costa Rica.

Buffon missed the Azzurri's opening 2-1 win over England in Group D after twisting his ankle and knee a day before that match.

Coach Cesare Prandelli also selected two other new players in his lineup, inserting Ignazio Abate at right back and Thiago Motta in midfield.

Giorgio Chiellini moves over from left back to central defense alongside Andrea Barzagli and Matteo Darmian shifts from right to left back while Gabriel Paletta was benched.

Motta replaces Marco Verratti in a 4-1-4-1 formation spearheaded by Mario Balotelli.

Costa Rica's lineup is unchanged from its 3-1 win over Uruguay.


Italy: Gianluigi Buffon, Ignazio Abate, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Matteo Darmian, Daniele De Rossi, Antonio Candreva, Thiago Motta, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Mario Balotelli.

Costa Rica: Keylor Navas, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Michael Umana, Celso Borges, Oscar Duarte, Christian Bolanos, Joel Campbell, Bryan Ruiz, Junior Diaz, Cristian Gamboa, Yeltsin Tejeda.

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