Your guide to Group C with Colombia, Ivory Coast, Greece and Japan

December 5, 2013 3:23 PM

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Your guide to Group C with Colombia, Ivory Coast, Greece and Japan

Marcos Coll scored direct from a corner – known in Latin America as an Olympic Goal – as part of a comeback from 3-0 down to draw 4-4 with Russia, complete with Lev Yashin in goal – in 1962.

Meet the coach: Jose Pekerman: Experienced 65-year-old who led his own country Argentina to the quarter-finals in 2006 before losing on penalties to the Germans (who else?).

Meet the captain: Mario Yepes. Rugged centre back will be 38 by next summer but proved he’s still the leader scoring two goals against Paraguay in the final qualifying game. Currently with Atalanta, previous clubs include Paris St Germain and AC Milan.

Star man: Falcao: Scored 52 goals in 67 games for Atletico Madrid, the 27-year-old striker is now raking in more than £12million a year in wages after Monaco bought him for £55million.

Watch out for: James Rodriguez. Another signed for big money by Monaco – £40million – when he left Porto in the summer, the 22-year-old creative midfielder is considered the new Carlos Valderrama (sadly without the spectacular hair!)

Talking tactics: Pekerman lost his job as Argentina coach accused of being too defensive, and his mentality hasn’t changed. No side in the South American qualifying group conceded fewer than Colombia’s 13.

Most likely to: Score goals - with Falcao and Jackson Martinez up front, they'll be a handful for any defence.

Premier League pedigree: Yaya Toure (Man City), Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle), Arouna Kone (Everton), Wilfried Bony (Swansea).

Meet the coach: Sabri Lamouchi. Stellar playing career in France and Italy, but the 42-year-old had never managed before taking his current job in May 2012.

Meet the captain: Didier Drogba. Now 35 but the former Chelsea star proved in clinching qualification for the finals that he’s still the inspiration for his country.

Watch out for: Serge Aurier. The 20-year-old Toulouse right back posted a picture of himself in an Arsenal shirt – a good World Cup could make the move happen.

Talking tactics: The 'Golden Generation' of Ivory Coast’s individual stars have never quite lived up to their individual talents (sound familiar?) Lamouchi has encouraged them to work as hard off the ball as they do on it.

Most likely to: Have Drogba take over doing the team talks if things aren’t going their way.

Meet the coach: Fernando Santos. Portuguese 59-year-old has twice bossed AEK Athens, and reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.

Meet the captain: Giorgos Karagounis. With 131 caps, Fulham man who was the midfield star of Greece’s greatest moment when they won Euro 2004 is still going strong even though he will be 37 by the time of this tournament.

Star man: Dimitrios Salpingidis. Like Karagounis a veteran at 32 with 72 caps, his speed up front is essential for creating chances for a defensive minded team.

Watch out for: Konstantinos Mitroglou: Five goals in qualifying underline the finishing ability of the 25-year-old Olympiacos star who has been watched by both Liverpool and Arsenal.

Talking tactics: The old Arsenal side would approve – five of their eight qualifying victories were secured with a 1-0 scoreline.

Premier League pedigree: Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Shinji Kagawa (Man Utd)

Meet the coach: Alberto Zaccheroni. He’s bossed all the big Italian clubs in a 30-year management career since having to quit playing through injury. Aged 60, has already won the Asian Cup in his first go as an international boss.

Meet the captain: Makoto Hasebe. With 70 caps behind him, the 29-year-old defensive midfielder has been a star in the Bundesliga since 2008 with first Wolfsburg then current club FC Nurnburg.

Star man: Shinji Kagawa. Man Utd fans have yet to see the best of him, but 16 goals in 52 caps from midfield tell their own story of his creative vision and attacking potential.

Watch out for: Keisuke Honda: Forgive the pun, but the driving force of CSKA Moscow’s attack is a target for AC Milan. Creative passing, and brilliant free kick taker.

Talking tactics: Japan were always more of a freewheeling side but under Zaccheroni they’ve developed an Italian defensive mentality. After a difficult start the change has worked and they are tough to beat.

Most likely to: Have hordes of their fans outside the team hotel all night waiting for pictures.


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