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Analysis of Group Stage

Fresh challenges from four continents
Arguably the most open and difficult to predict of the eight sections, Group C involves four teams with no shared FIFA World Cup™ history whatsoever. What can be guaranteed is an intriguing inter-continental clash of styles, with Colombia’s South American flair going up against teams - Japan, Côte d’Ivoire and Greece - which typify their own regions’ traditional strengths.

The teams
Colombia are the group’s seeds and will be favourites to advance, while Japan come into the tournament as Asian champions. But such is the nature of this group, it would hardly be a sensation if Côte d’Ivoire, Greece - or both - ended up making it through.

Players to watch
Radamel Falcao (COL), James Rodriguez (COL), Georgios Samaras (GRE), Konstantinos Mitroglou (GRE), Yaya Toure (CIV), Didier Drogba (CIV), Keisuke Honda (JPN), Shinji Kagawa (JPN)

The crunch match
Japan-Côte d'Ivoire: The battle between Asia and Africa, the intricacy of the Samurai Blue pitted against the pace and power of Les Elephants, looks sure to provide a real footballing feast when these teams meet in Recife in their opening fixture. A win for either side would also represent a massive step towards the Round of 16.


Last World Cup: Did not qualify Nickname: Los Cafeteros Coach: Jose Pekerman Star man: Radamel Falcao Tournament best: Last 16 1990 Qualified in relative...

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Last World Cup: Group stage Nickname: The Pirate Ship, Sky blue-white Coach: Fernando Santos Star man: Georgios Samaras Tournament best: Group stage 1994, ...

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Cote D Ivoire

Last World Cup: Group Stage Nickname: Les Éléphants Coach: Sabri Lamouchi Star man: Yaya Toure Tournament best: Group stage 2006, 2010 The African nation...

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Last World Cup: Round of 16 Nickname: Samurai Blue Coach: Alberto Zaccheroni Star man: Keisuke Honda Tournament best: Last 16 2002, 2010 Stormed to quali...

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