Group C could be one of the more entertaining of this World Cup. With teams like Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, and Japan there is plenty to play for and the group’s top spots are certainly up for grabs.
The big news for Colombia starting out is the loss of Falcao. He led Colombia through qualifying as their top scorer, with nine goals, as well as being their captain. Still, they have decent attacking players both up front and in midfield. Look out for the likes of Adrian Ramos, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, and James Rodriguez to step up. It should also be noted that Colombia’s defense is quite solid having allowed just 13 goals in their 16 qualifying matches.
Greece seem likely to struggle through this group due to their lack of scoring. Their one saving trait may be their defense, having allowed five goals in their 11 qualifying matches.
The Ivorian team has an interesting mix of players with seven of them 30 or older, including their captain, Didier Drogba, at 36. They have a solid midfield and some excellent attacking options with players like Yaya Toure, Chieck Tiote, Salomon Kalou, Wilfried Bony, and Didier Drogba. Where they do have some amount of weakness is in their defense. They should be able to score plenty, but if that dries up they will struggle.
Japan had a very interesting qualifying campaign in which they started out slowly, but made up ground quickly to top their group. While thy don’t have a whole lot of star players there are several of significant quality. Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa could do well on the international stage, despite his poor form in the Premier League. Their top scorer, Shinji Okazaki is one to keep an eye on, along with defender Atsuto Uchida.
Pick for the Group?
As mentioned before, this is going to be an interesting and entertaining group, one in which nearly any combination could come through as winner and runner-up. My pick is:
Colombia – winner
Ivory Coast – runner-up
Japan – third
Greece – fourth
Even without Falcao, Colombia should have a strong enough team to top this group while Ivory Coast also have enough talent to finish second. Japan, and Greece, will not make it easy and either one of them could create a shock or two to shake things up.
The winner of Group will advance to take on the runner-up in Group D while the runner-up here faces the winner of Group D. This could be any one of England, Italy, or Uruguay.
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Also, be sure to keep checking back for my weekly predictionsthroughout the tournament.