World Cup Preview and Predictions: Group C

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They may not have the world class athletes sprinkled across Groups A and B, but if a taste of diversity is what you seek, you’ve come to the right place.

Group C pits a dynamic Colombia with the conservative Greeks, an overpowering Ivory Coast and a disciplined Japanese side.  Each team plies their trade in different confederations, and represent the first group to feature four different languages.

Looking for a favorite?  That would be Colombia.  Argentine tactician Jose Peckerman has molded Los Cafeteros into a well balanced and offensively threatening side.  Yes, they will be without goalscoring dynamo, Radamel Falcoa, but they do possess a threatening quartet in Adrian Ramos, Jackson Martinez, Carlos Bacca and Teofilo Gutierrez that can help make up for his loss.  Veteran Mario Yepes captains this side, holding fort on the most experienced Colombian backline in years.

Ivory Coast will certainly give them a run.  While Colombia’s ground attack will leave opponents dizzy, Ivory Coast relies on strength and physicality to wear down opponents.  Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure make for a good 1-2 punch down the spine of this team, accented by the likes of Gervinho and the emerging Wilfried Bony.

The Greeks have surprised on the World stage before but are this groups underdog.  As always, they rely on the strength of their defense and counterattack to stifle their opposition.  Captain Giorgos Karagounis is key in transition, and will likely be the focus of many a midfield duel.

The Japanese have some of the most potent offensive weapons in the bunch.  Shinji Okazaki, Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa will be key in attack, supported by veteran midfielders Yasuhito Endō and Makoto Hasebe. Their backline, along with Standard Leige keeper Eiji Kawashima, feature starters ranging from the Premiership to the Bundesliga, offering Japan arguably their best defense ever for a World Cup.

[colored_box color=”red”]SCHEDULE:[/colored_box]

June 15th: Colombia vs. Greece, Japan vs. Ivory Coast
June 19th: Colombia vs. Ivory Coast, Japan vs. Greece
June 24th: Colombia vs. Japan, Greece vs. Ivory Coast

[colored_box color=”red”]EOS PREDICTIONS:

FINISH COUNTRY WIN LOSS DRAW POINTS G/D
1 IVORY COAST
3 0 0 9 +2
2 COLOMBIA 2 1 0 6 +1
3 JAPAN 1 1 1 4 -1
4 GREECE 0 3 0 0 -3

[/colored_box]

Colombia 1-0 Greece
Ivory Coast 2-1 Japan
Ivory Coast 2-1 Colombia
Japan 2-1 Greece
Colombia 1-0 Japan
Ivory Coast 1-0 Greece

As stated earlier, Colombia does enjoy the distinction as group favorite, but EOS sees Ivory Coast taking this bracket.  Heat and humidity will be no issue for this bunch, and Colombia won’t enjoy the same type of fervent support as Mexico did against Cameroon.  In short, Les Elephants are too big, too strong and too experienced to fail.

Peckerman will make sure that his team stays disciplined.  Colombia should get by the defensively stout Greeks and the threatening Japanese.  Japan has far too much firepower to fall last in this group.  Barring injuries to starters on their defensive line, they can put in a respectable effort amongst these teams.  As for the Greeks, discipline and defense will take them part of the way, but a lack of striking and counter quality talent sinks them to the bottom of this pile.

RELATED LINKS:

EOS GROUP A WORLD CUP PREVIEW AND PREDICTIONS
EOS GROUP B WORLD CUP PREVIEW AND PREDICTIONS
EOS STAFF PREDICTIONS FOR WORLD CUP


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