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  • June 24, 2014
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  • • Estádio Governador Plácido Aderaldo Castelo, Fortaleza, Ceará
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World Cup Preview: Greece - Cote d'Ivoire

World Cup Preview: Greece - Cote d'Ivoire

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Sabri Lamouchi's men know a win will see them through to the round of 16, while the Europeans must defeat their opponents and hope for favors elsewhere.

Either Cote d'Ivoire or Greece - potentially both - will play their final match of this year's World Cup at the Estadio Castelao on Tuesday.

The equation is simple for the Africans - win and they are through to the last 16 for the first time; lose or draw and they must hope that Colombia avoid defeat against Japan. For Greece the situation is rather more complicated, with its future resting entirely on its ability to win only a second finals match in nine attempts.

Cote d'Ivoire must bounce back from a 2-1 loss at the hands of Colombia last time out, though its opening match success over Japan suggests that it has the firepower to overcome the Europeans.

Greece has yet to even find the net in the competition thus far. After losing 3-0 against the South Americans as the curtain lifted on its tournament, it responded with a typically gritty scoreless draw against the Samurai Blue, having seen Kostas Katsouranis dismissed - with the veteran of 113 caps subsequently banned for this encounter.

Head coach Fernando Santos, who will step down at the end of the competition, has seen Kostas Manolas and Kostas Mitroglou, who was withdrawn in the first half of the Japan clash, train apart from the group owing to minor injury problems, but both are expected to be fit to feature in this encounter, though the latter could well be dropped.

The wizened figure of Giorgos Karagounis is expected to win his 138th cap in this clash, probably from the start of the game for the first time at this competition.

Meanwhile, a shadow has been cast over the camp of the African side owing to the death of the Ibrahim Toure, younger brother of Yaya and Kolo, on Friday. Both men will carry on in the competition and will be eager to honor their sibling by securing progress through to the knockout stages.

No dramatic alterations are expected in Sabri Lamouchi’s starting XI, although it is possible that Yaya Toure will occupy a more defensive role, allowing Salomon Kalou to come into the team in a more offensive position.

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