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World Cup

  • June 19, 2014
  • • 17:00
  • • Estádio Nacional de Brasília, Brasília, Distrito Federal
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 68748
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Colombia - Cote d'Ivoire Preview: Bacca injury gives Pekerman more striker woes

Colombia - Cote d'Ivoire Preview: Bacca injury gives Pekerman more striker woes

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With Radamel Falcao missing the tournament, the South Americans have been dealt another blow thanks to the Sevilla forward's training knock

Colombia played a 4-5-1 formation in their opening win over Greece, but could go for a more attacking 4-4-1-1 in Thursday's match versus Cote d'Ivoire as they aim to seal qualification for the next round after just two games.

Head coach Jose Pekerman will have to make do without Sevilla attacker Carlos Bacca due to injury, but Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin returns after missing their first match due to suspension.

Pekerman is unlikely to make any changes at the back, yet seems ready to give three new players a chance to prove their worth in midfield and up front.

The aforementioned Guarin is expected to get the nod in midfield at the expense of Abel Aguilar, while Juan Quintero could also feature from the start in place of Victor Ibarbo. In attack, Pekerman will make a choice between Teo Gutierrez, who scored against Greece, and Jackson Martinez, with the Porto man sitting in pole position to start at this point.

Cote d’Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi, meanwhile, will have some serious selection headaches as well following his side’s hard-fought win over Japan. The Africans struggled to get going while using their 4-3-3 formation in their opening game and only sprung to life after Didier Drogba came off the bench to effectively give them four attackers on the pitch.

Lamouchi stressed after the final whistle that he was satisfied with his side’s performance, however, and it seems unlikely that he will make any major changes to his starting XI.That means that both Kolo Toure and Didier Drogba seem destined to start from the bench once more, with the latter having to play for a role as super-sub behind Swansea striker Wilfried Bony.

Players to watch

F. Guarín

Position: Midfielder

Games: 3

  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
Guarin missed his side’s opening game due to suspension and will be desperate to make an impact on his return. The midfielder is one of the Colombia internationals who plies his trade at a major club in Europe and much will be expected from the Inter man. Guarin has become somewhat famous for his spectacular long range strikes over the past few seasons and the Cote d’Ivoire midfielders cannot afford to allow him any space inside their half if they are to deny Guarin.

S. Aurier

Position: Defender

Games: 3

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Toulouse defender has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks and he showed exactly why with a stunning performance against Japan. Aurier played a major role in his side’s opening win with two assists and he will be looking to deliver more of the same against Colombia. The right-back seems to have everything a defender needs to succeed at the highest level and a successful World Cup will only further boost his profile.

Editor's Prediction

Despite the absence of Radamel Falcao, Colombia had no trouble finding the net against Greece as they recorded a comfortable 3-0 win. Jose Pekerman’s men will therefore be high on confidence going into the game against Cote d’Ivoire. The Africans bagged three points in their opener against Japan, too, but were by no means impressive. Colombia will consequently start the game as favourites and they should have what it takes to make it two wins from as many games.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Colombia

Côte d'Ivoire

Wins
1
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Colombia COL
Colombia Colombia
Draw
Côte d'Ivoire CIV
Côte d'Ivoire Côte d'Ivoire
55%
31%

Top 3 Predictions

Colombia COL
2 - 1
Côte d'Ivoire CIV
Colombia COL
1 - 2
Côte d'Ivoire CIV
Colombia COL
2 - 0
Côte d'Ivoire CIV

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