LincSport World Cup Preview: Group C

This group features, Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan. Here is the Linc Sport preview of Group C by Liam Ray 

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Colombia enter the 2014 World Cup as favourites to progress from Group C but the news that, top scorer in qualifying, Radamel Falcao will miss the tournament through injury dents those odds slightly.

The Monaco forward is labelled as one of the hottest strikers in the world but an injury plagued season has come at the worse possible time for himself and his country.

Despite that, Jose Pekerman’s men have a wealth of attacking options to rely on. Falcao’s teammate James Rodriguez can provide the flare and creativity that Colombia need to progress.

Pekerman is an attacking minded coach and often chooses full backs who like to bomb forward at every opportunity. Napoli pair Pablo Armero and Juan Zuniga provide plenty of width and supply the front men.

Jackson Martinez of Porto is set to be the lone striker with Falcao absent and Colombia should be a huge threat to any side in the competition.

The battle for second could appear to be a very tight race between all three of the other sides in the group.

Greece are the highest ranked of those with a generous FIFA ranking of 12. The 2004 European Champions are no strangers to surprises.

You can get odds of over 300/1 for the Greeks to triumph in Brazil and those odds would be much larger if misfiring Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglou wasn’t travelling.

“Mitrogoal” scored 23 goals in 23 games for Olympiakos before the turn of the year but his spell at Fulham has never got going.

Big outsiders they are, but Greece should never be underestimated after their sensational display at Euro 2004.

Ivory Coast travel to Brazil with expectations to reach the knockout stages after being eliminated at the group phase at the last two tournaments.

They were unbeaten throughout qualifying and have goals available from their various attacking options.

Former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou was their top scorer in qualifying and Yaya Toure contributed four goals in what was a comfortable campaign.

The Manchester City powerhouse is amongst the best all round midfielders in the world and with him in the side, Ivory Coast will always be difficult to play against.

Japan are the last side in Group C but were the first to qualify for the tournament in Brazil.

One thing they do have is goals from midfield with the likes of Keisuke Honda of AC Milan and Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United.

They are top class playmakers but both have had below par seasons for their respective club sides. They will be hoping that that form is left at home.

A consistent team in the recent history of the World Cup – Japan are always a side who like to pass the ball.

Expect them not to roll over in the tight battle for qualification from Group C.

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