World Cup Group C Assessment

Continuing to look at the Group stages of the World Cup we turn our attention to Group C after suggesting a major shock may take place in Group B.

World Cup Group C Assessment

Group C winners play the runner-up in Group D and the second placed side play the winners of Group D.

Group B

Group B consists of Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan and Greece Group D is England's group with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, so almost certain the winners will be playing Italy or Uruguay then!

The opening game is between Columbia and Greece on Saturday 14th June followed by Ivory Coast against Japan on Sunday 15th June. Then Thursday 19th sees two games Columbia vs Ivory Coast and Japan vs Greece. The group is finished on Tuesday 24th with Japan playing Columbia and Greece taking on the Ivory Coast.


Columbia are the group favourites and being in South America they will be expecting to make it through from what is not a strong group. They qualified for the tournament by finishing second in CONMEBOL qualifying which comprises 16 games. Only Argentina fared better so expectation is high.

This is another World Cup with star names suffering injuries and the leading light for Columbia is striker Radamel Falcao. In January he injured a cruciate ligament playing for money in Monaco and hasn't made it to the show piece.

Manager José Pékerman had to leave him out of his squad and described the decision as “the saddest day I’ve had since becoming Colombia coach.”

Teofilo Gutiérrez bagged 6 goals in 11 games in qualifying (Falcao 9 in 13), he will have to shoulder the burden while Falcao's absense will probably give an opportunity to former Tottenham target Jackson Martinez now with Porto.

Also in their ranks is another Tottenham target, although not at £14.5 million I would suggest, in Fredy Guarín. James Rodríguez joined Monaco for £36.53 million (€45m) last May so they are not a one man team. I'm expecting them to overcome the loss of Falcao and make it into the knock-out stages.

Ivory Coast

Didier Drogba (36) captains the Ivory Coast who also have in their ranks former Tottenham player Didier Zokora (33). We shouldn't forget Yaya Touré (31), Kolo Touré (33), Salomon Kalou (28), Gervinho (27), Tottenham loan target Lacina Traoré (24), Wilfried Bony (25) so you could say they have plenty of experience. In a tricky group that could stand them in good stead and I'm taking them to come out on top.

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Japan struggle to score goals and that may hamper their chances of progressing. They are a bit of a hit and miss side, they can struggle against a minnow in qualification, then outplay Holland in a friendly. They could top the group, they could come bottom, which side turns up is anyones guess.

Manchester United fans will know attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa and Tottenham have been linked with Milan's Keisuke Honda in the past. They have done well at previous tournaments but they look as though they could struggle at both ends of the field this time.


Greece are the masters of 1-0 football. defend, defend, defend, nick a goal, defend. It's not pretty but it won them a European Championship so you can't knock them for it.Their qualification say it all W8 D1 L1 with just 12 goals scored, 5 of them by Konstantinos Mitroglou, the man Fulham signed for £12 million from Olympiacos in January to save them from relegation, he played 153 minutes!

They will try the same counter attack tactics again and Mitroglou will shoulder the burden for them. Defensively they conceded just 4 goals in qualification so 0-0 and 1-0 are favoured scorelines when considering a bet on Greece. How teams perform against them may well hols the key to this group.

Greece could easily go through, they seem to find a way but I couldn't be confident of them progressing, then again they could easily top the group.

I'll take Ivory Coast to win the group and Greece not to score a goal.

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