Colombia or Ivory Coast could almost guarantee their place in the last-16 with a win in today’s World Cup clash, and with it a potential meeting with England.
The two teams are currently level on points, following wins in their opening games, and their encounter could decide who tops Group C. Colombia strolled to a 3-0 victory over Greece, despite missing their star striker, Radamel Falcao.
Colombia cope without Falcao
Despite worries about Colombia’s goal-scoring capabilities without the £50million Monaco man, back-up Teofilo Gutierrez has already got off the mark and proved that Colombia have the ability to perform without their star man.
Pablo Armero put the South Americans ahead after just five minutes, with Teofilo Gutierrez doubling their lead after 58 minutes, before James Rodriguez added to Greece’s misery in extra time.
Following their win, Colombia are unchanged to face Ivory Coast.
Colombia XI: Ospina; Zuniga, Yepes, Zapata, Armero; Sanchez, Aguilar: Cuadrado, Rodriguez, Ibarbo; Gutierrez.
Subs: Arias, Carbonero, Vargas, Guarin, Mejia, Balanta, Bacca, Ramos, Quintero, Martinez, Mondragon, Valdes.
Ivory Coast XI: Boubacar Barry; Aurier, Bamba, Zokora, Boka; 9-Cheick, Die, Yaya Toure; Gradel, Bony, Gervinho.
Subs: Diarrassouba, Toure, Bolly, Akpa Akpro, Kalou, Drogba, Ya Konan, Diomande, Gbohouo, Djakpa, Sio, Mande.
The Drogba problem
Ivory Coast recorded a 2-1 win over Japan in their opener, despite going behind early on, with Sabri Lamouchi’s men scoring two quick-fire goals soon after Didier Drogba was brought on in the second half.
Much of the talk prior to the game has centred around Lamouchi’s team selection, with mixed views as to whether he should opt to star the experienced Drogba, who is playing in his third World Cup.
But Swansea’s Wilfried Bony, who scored the Ivory Coast’s equalising goal against Japan, makes the cut, and there are plenty of goal-scoring options at Lamouchi’s disposal against a strong Colombia side.