The Back of the Net boys continue their look ahead to the 2014 World Cup by checking out Group C...
Top seeds Colombia should progress with ease thanks to their abundance of attacking talent. Despite €60 million Radamel Falcao being injured, they can call upon such talents as €50m James Rodriguez and the €40m Jackson Martinez, which almost makes up for their lack of defenders born in the last century.
The Ivory Coast ought to have enough to join them, but the Elephants have consistently underachieved while wearing their orange shirts, just like Holland, Dundee United, Blackpool, and easyJet. Also in Group C are Japan, who are technically brilliant, but then communism is also technically brilliant; and Greece, a side nobody will want to play, watch, or think about.
A bad injury in January left Falcao without knees. Both of the Ivory Coast’s Touré brothers are world class, except for Kolo. If Japan’s Shinji Kagawa flops, expect a vindicated David Moyes to be reappointed Manchester United manager.
After Vahid Halilhodzic and Sven-Goran Eriksson, managers with no ties to the country but lots of experience, the Ivory Coast changed tact in 2012 and appointed Sabri Lamouchi, a manager with no ties to the country and no experience either.
Alberto Zaccheroni has enjoyed good results with Japan, despite refusing to learn Japanese, rarely bothering to attend games and dedicating himself full-time to penning a series of detective novels set in a futuristic Los Angeles populated by sexy robots who can fly. José Pekerman, now in charge of Colombia after leading his native Argentina in 2006, was hoping to shed his reputation as ‘the man who left out Messi’ by leaving out Martinez, Rodriguez AND Falcao. Two will have to do.
Ivory Coast vs Japan: arguably the biggest game in the history of the World Cup, this 2am kick-off is expected to be watched by at least 60 million people in the UK. Make sure you don’t miss a single moment unless you want to be roundly derided for your risible lack of commitment to following the sport.
Worth a bet
One bookie is offering 11/10 odds that at least eight people you follow on Twitter will do a joke about the Greeks having a lot of big names.
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