Second Team To Advance: Ivory Coast
Teams Heading Home: Greece, Japan
Group C is an incredibly interesting group in that there is no true powerhouse team but there also is not a team that sticks out as being below the rest of the group. Colombia probably would have been considered a lock to move on before the injury to star striker Radamel Falcao. However, even without Falcao, Colombia are a bit above the rest, as Jackson Martinez and Adrian Ramos can step in as adequate replacements and they will have excellent support from a star studded midfield cast including James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado. Though their defense is a bit lacking, Colombia's prolific offense should be enough to carry them past the group stages. Meanwhile, Greece, Japan, and Ivory Coast are all very even but the contrasting play styles as well as the inexperience of Greece and Japan leads me to believe that Ivory Coast will move on. Greece and Japan are very different in terms of tactics, as Greece tends to sit back and defend all game while Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa bring a more free-flowing attack style for Japan, but neither of them match up well with the quick, direct counter-attacking approach of Ivory Coast. Additionally, the likes of Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure bring world cup experience to the Ivory Coast that is lacking in Greece and Japan. My prediction for the leading goalscorer of the group is Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba (dark horse candidate: Japan's Shinji Okazaki, who is currently in blistering form), while I expect Colombia's James Rodriguez to rack up the most assists.