FIFA World Cup 2014 at a Glance: Group C

Group C is an intriguing group to say the least. Colombia, Greece, Cote d’Ivoire and Japan have all got their strengths and of course weaknesses so it will not be easy picking who goes through. But hey, nothing in life is easy so let’s dig in and see who will come out on top in this group.

Group C

Team: Colombia

Manager: Jose Pekerman

Path to Qualification (Wins, Losses, Draws):

Colombia rubber stamped their presence at the World Cup as the second best team in qualification from South America, just two points behind powerhouses Argentina. They won nine, lost four and drew three games to make it to soccer’s showpiece event without too many problems.

The Game Changers:

I just cannot simply look past the AS Monaco duo of Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez. Yes, Falcao is injured right now but if news coming out of the Colombian camp are anything to go by, there still is a chance that the striker will be fit in time for the World Cup. If that happens, then it will be a huge boost to the nation as he is among the best in the world right now.

James Rodriguez is a dynamite of a midfielder who is destined for big time. He is the guy who makes Colombia tick in the middle of the park. Regarded by many as one of the best young players in the world, Rodriguez will have to be at the top of his game if Colombia are to fire in the tournament.

World Cup History:

Total Appearances: 5
Best Finish: Round of 16 in 1990

Prediction for the Group: Winner

This is a really tough group to call but I really think Colombia has enough quality to go into the next round as group winners. The World Cup is being held in Brazil and the climate is bound to play a very important role in the tournament. The Colombians are used to the conditions and the talent on their side gives them an edge over the three other teams in the group.

Interesting Fact:

Radamel Falcao is their most expensive player, as Monaco had to pay fifty million pounds to Atletico Madrid for his transfer.

Team: Greece

Manager: Fernando Santos

Path to Qualification (Wins, Losses, Draws):

Greece won eight and drew and lost one game each to take second place behind Bosnia-Herzegovina in their group. They had the same number of points as Bosnia but with an inferior goal difference. Greece were handed a playoff spot against Romania. They won 3-1 at home before drawing 1-1 away to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2014. 

The Game Changers:

Greece will once again rely on their defense to get them through. They had one of the tightest defenses in the qualification rounds and that is once again expected to be their strength in the World Cup. Up front they will be looking to Giorgos Samaras and Konstantinos Mitroglou to score a goal or two.

World Cup History:

Total Appearances: 3
Best Finish: Group Stage in 1994 and 2010

Prediction for the Group: 3rd Runner Up

Greece is a team built from the back. They have a resolute defense which is also their biggest strength. They will struggle to win midfield battles and that is where they will come up short. The other three teams in the group have more diversity in their ranks and will find a way or two to score against the Greeks. 

Interesting Fact:

Greece was crowned European Champions in the year 2004 in what was their only second participation in the Euros.

Team: Cote d’Ivoire

Manager: Sabri Lamouchi

Path to Qualification (Wins, Losses, Draws):

Cote d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast topped their Round Two Group C table ahead of Morocco, Tanzania and Gambia to qualify for their third successive World Cup. The Elephants won four and drew two games to automatically make their way to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Game Changers:

Pace, power and technical ability is what the team from Ivory Coast possesses. The likes of Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure, Cheick Tiote, Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba will lead the line for Cote d’Ivoire in Brazil. A lot of players representing The Elephants in the World Cup play for some of the biggest clubs in Europe and the big game experience will come in handy.

World Cup History:

Total Appearances: 3
Best Finish: Group Stage in 2006 and 2010

Prediction for the Group: Runner Up

Cote d’Ivoire will be looking to go past the group stage for the first time in their history and I really do think they will be able to do that this time around. It will be a case of third time lucky because they have attributes to trouble all the other teams in their group. Let me put it this way, neither of Colombia, Japan and Greece will be looking forward to playing against these African giants. 

Interesting Fact:

According to FIFA rankings, the Cote d’Ivoire are the best African nation in the world today.

Team: Japan

Manager: Alberto Zaccheroni

Path to Qualification (Wins, Losses, Draws):

Japan were in Group B alongside Australia, Jordan, Oman and Iraq in their World Cup qualification group. In the eight games that they played en route qualification for the tournament, Japan won five, drew two and lost one encounter to finish at the top.

The Game Changers:

The coach Alberto Zaccheroni is a seasoned campaigner and very good tactically. He has plenty of technically wonderful players under his ranks and that gives Japan a decent enough chance to make it out of the group. Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda and Shinji Okazaki are the three stars Japan will be depending on. The one thing that favors Japan is the fact that they can play different systems according to the opposition they play.

World Cup History:

Total Appearances: 5
Best Finish: Round of 16 in 2002 and 2010

Prediction for the Group: 2nd Runner Up

Japan’s play is tactically flexible but that can only get you so far. They don’t in my book have enough strength and pace to cope with the likes of Ivory Coast and Colombia. Yes, they might beat Greece but that unfortunately is as good as it gets for them in the tournament.

Interesting Fact:

Japan’s five appearances puts them in the second spot behind South Korea among all Asian teams to have played in the most number of World Cups.

Like I said at the beginning it wasn’t going to be easy picking the two teams who would qualify from Group C. Well it turns out I was right. There were a lot of factors to consider and it was real hard work. Now that I have put my neck on the line, let’s see what you have got to say about my predictions.

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Ivy Oscar is a professional writer and blogger from Magnolia, Delaware. She likes to write about music, sports, celebrities and all the good things in life.
Categories: Soccer, Sports

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