Buffon, Barzagli close on Italy selection

Italy pair Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli trained on Thursday, to increase their chances of taking on Costa Rica at the FIFA World Cup.

Buffon (ankle) and Barzagli (knee) both took to the training track for Cesare Prandelli's squad, ahead of their Group D clash in Recife on Friday.

Juventus goalkeeper Buffon missed their group opener against England, while centre-back Barzagli played all 90 minutes in Manaus.

Prandelli said if the pair are pain-free on the morning of the game, they will both play.

"Until tomorrow we can't say who will play because we are taking it hour by hour in order to see whether these small injuries will be recoverable," Prandelli said.

"Yesterday (Wednesday) Barzagli had a few small problems, today he was fine so we'll see tomorrow morning. If he is in less pain he will play.

"Buffon has done the last three training sessions, he still has a bit of swelling. If his reaction after training tomorrow is good, he will play."

Prandelli is already expected to swing one change - with Thiago Motta to play in central midfield alongside Andrea Pirlo, and Marco Verratti to be rested.