World Cup Group C Predictions

 

Colombia:


The surprising run of the Colombians culminates in Brazil with an appealing opening round draw. Colombia was simply dominant in qualifying, and have to be considered fortunate to be paired in a relatively weak grouping. They scored goals at will, while maintaining one of the stingiest defences throughout qualifying. That said, they enter with perhaps the largest injury concern of the entire tournament with their hopes hinging on the left knee of key striker Radamel Falcao. The AS Monaco forward tore his ACL back in January and although he will join his teammates in Brazil, him featuring remains in heavy doubt. Even without Falcao though, the defense remains solid as does their attacking prowess. In a weak Group C, Colombia still enter as the favourites.

 

Ivory Coast:


Despite this being the so-called golden generation of Ivorian football, the Elephants haven’t really ever accomplished anything on the world stage. Now with their core severely ageing, it may just be their final chance in Brazil. The likes of Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, and Salomon Kalou, although all very talented, are only getting older and the failures of past years need to be answered for. This year may just be their best opportunity for making some noise as Group C enters as one of the tournament’s weakest. The Ivorians face a pivotal clash against Japan in their opening match – ultimately a fixture that should set the tone for this crucial tournament.

 

Greece:


Despite being severely limited offensively, the Greeks have had some recent successes on big stages and this year’s World Cup could provide some more shocks. They remain one of the world’s premier defensive squads, happily securing 0-0 or 1-nil results. However in qualifying they did display some attacking flair behind their young striker Kostas Mitroglou. The Fulham forward was awful during his brief stint in the English Premier League, but may be able to raise his profile by a stellar World Cup. For all of their limitations, Greece plays a style conducive to success at these brief tournaments. They shouldn’t be underestimated and have the ability to frustrate some of the world’s most talented line-ups.

 

Japan:


Along with Greece and the Ivory Coast, the race for qualifying second in this group will be highly competitive. While nobody is expecting much from the Japanese, and many view them as the consensus last place finishers in Group C, the same was said about the Blue Samurai back in 2010. Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa, and Shinji Okazaki present a formidable attacking trio, but going against the stingy defences of Colombia and Greece may prove too daunting for a line-up severely lacking in depth.

 

Predicted Order of Finish:


1) Colombia
2) Ivory Coast
3) Greece
4) Japan

 

Even without the talent of Falcao, Colombia has enough talent to get through in a weakened group. The Ivorians, Greeks, and Japanese will all fight for second, but ultimately Yaya Toure and the midfield of the Ivory Coast will overwhelm Greece and Japan en route to a long-awaited place in the round of 16.

 

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