Football

James Rodriguez primed to step into Falcao's shoes

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Squad

Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Independiente Santa Fe).

Defenders: Mario Yepes, Cristian Zapata (both AC Milan), Pablo Armero (West Ham, on loan from Napoli), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo).

Midfielders: Fredy Guarin (Inter Milan), Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina), James Rodriguez (Monaco), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Juan Fernando Quintero (Porto), Carlos Sanchez (Elche), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia), Alexander Mejia (Atletico Nacional),

Forwards: Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari), Jackson Martinez (Porto), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate).

Fixtures

14th June v Greece (Belo Horizonte)

19th June v Ivory Coast (Brasilia)

24th June v Japan (Cuiaba)

Strengths

The Colombians will play at a slow tempo to absorb the opponents’ pressure then break with quick counter attacks. Full-backs Juan Camilo Zuniga, Pablo Armero, and Juan Guillermo Cuardrado can burst down the wings. Midfielders Fredy Guarin, Macnelly Torres and Rodriguez form a solid midfield and can dictate the game. With Falcao set to his out, Jackson Martinez is more than capable to fill his boots.

Weaknesses

In the past, Colombian squads have imploded from a lack of professionalism. Boss Jose Pekerman will have to do his best to keep the players away from outside distractions and keep the players’ temper in check, namely Teo Gutierrez.

Key Player

In the light of Falcao’s struggle with fitness after a lengthy knee injury, his Monaco teammate James Rodriguez can step up as the talisman. The playmaker is quick, tough, can provide assists as well as having a vicious shot. He could provide pivotal.

Prediction

After an impressive qualifying campaign, they would be expected to easily progress from the group. A potential last 16 tie with Uruguay, Italy or England will provide a proper test but if this talented team gains momentum, they could make it to the quarterfinals.

Odds

40/1

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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