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Lads on Toure; Preview of World Cup's Group C

Taken from soccer.com

Preview: One of the easier groups of the tournament, the teams were lucky to avoid big names, however there will be fight and competition to get out of the group. Predict scrappy games, that will give for attacking football. Teams which are not normally broadcast on tv, along with players who aren't always on the big stage either, it provides a great opportunity for fans to learn new names, find new heroes and see some football.


Key Points:

Colombia -  Colombia will be without main striker Radamel Falcao. The A.S. Monaco forward was ruled out of the World Cup with a knee injury. With the star striker ruled out for the apparent injury, Colombia's chances have greatly decreased. Without Falcao, fellow Monaco teammate James Rodriguez will have to carry the workload. Coming off the back of a fantastic season for club, Rodriguez will need to replicate his form in order for Colombia to have any hope. Colombia, even without Falcao should be able to get out of the group having been drawn into a relatively easy group, they will be able to finish either first or second. 

Greece - Greece comes to this World Cup having missed the previous one in 2010. They were at Euro 2012, in  Poland/Ukraine, where they had a decent showing. The Greeks will have a tough time getting out of this group, but do have a chance do to the easier nature of it. I predict a third place finish for the boys.  

Japan -  Japan comes to the World Cup having performed very well at the 2010 World Cup, losing eventually to Paraguay in the knockout round, per Indianexpress.com. Japan comes to the World Cup with most of their hopes resting on Shinji Kagawa, and Honda. The Milan loanee Honda, has long been the most integral part of the Japanese national team. He is deployed in the number 10 role, and excels in his ability to create and score in equal measure. The Manchester United forward also excels for his national team, usually coming in from the left to do so. He is able to score, create and break down any defense. For the Japanese to have a good World Cup, they will need their stars to perform. I predict either a third, or fourth place finish for the Japanese, and a failure to qualify for the knockout round. 

Ivory Coast - Ivory Coast were unlucky in 2010 to be drawn into the "Group of Death." They were in a group with North Korea, Portugal and Brazil. They were defeated by Brazil, in a game which many remember for Keita feigning an injury and getting Kaka sent off for a harmless shoulder, and were able to draw Portugal and defeat North Korea. In 2014 the Elephants should be able to get out of the group stage. They have a midfield and attack which boasts many household names, Didier Drogba, Seydou Doumbia, Gervinho, and of course Yaya Toure. Yaya Toure has developed into one of the worlds best midfielders, he is able to attack and defend. Going forward he is almost unplayable, speed. strength, and of course to go along with it he has the feet of a ballet dancer. Oh and lets not forget he is also adept at free kicks, he hit 9/13 free kicks, an absurd conversion rate, for Manchester City in helping them to the Premier League title. In order for the Ivorians to do well they will need their stars to show up and lead them to victory. Having been drawn in to one of the easier groups of the tournament, there is no excuses to not get out of the group stage, and once they do so, they can make some noise. 


Matches & Predictions:

Matchup  Date  Time (-5:00) EST  Prediction 
 Colombia vs. Greece Sat, 14 June  12:00 pm 2-1
 Ivory Coast vs. Japan Sat, 14 June 9:00 pm 3-1
 Colombia vs. Ivory Coast Thu, 19 June 12:00 pm 2-2
 Japan vs. Greece Thu, 19 June 6:00 pm 2-1
 Japan vs. Colombia Tue, 24 June 4:00 pm 1-1
 Greece vs. Ivory Coast Tue, 24 June 4:00 pm 1-3

Final Table Prediction:

Team  GP  GF GA  GD  PTS 
Ivory Coast 
3 8 4 4 7
Colombia 3 4 3 1 5
Japan 3 4  3  1 4
Greece 5 -2

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By Antonio Lynch

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