Group C preview - Tucson News Now

Group C preview

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Group C

COLUMBIA

Federation: CONMEBOL

FIFA World Rank: 8

Nickname: Los Cafeteros (The Coffee Growers)

Coach: José Pékerman

Player to know: Teófilo Gutiérrez, forward. No Radamel Facao thanks to a torn ACL means Gutiérrez gets the spotlight. Immature? Maybe.  But at one point he led both Columbian and Argentinean leagues in scoring.

GREECE

Federation:  UEFA

FIFA World Rank: 12

Nickname: Piratiko (The Pirate Ship)

Coach: Fernando Santos

Player to know:  Kostas Mitroglou, forward. May be returning from a faulty knee that didn't help him score any goals since November 19th. Has to prove that $20 million dollar contract with Fullham wasn't a waste.

IVORY COAST

Federation: CAF

FIFA World Rank: 23

Nickname: Les Elephants (The Elephants)

Coach: Sabri Lamouchi

Player to know: Yaya Touré, defender. Has won 3 straight African Footballer of the Year awards. That's pretty good.

JAPAN

Federation: AFC

FIFA World Rank: 46

Nickname: Blue Samurai

Coach: Alberto Zaccheroni

Player to know: Keisuke Honda, midfielder. MVP of the 2011 Asian Cup, Japan's offense runs through him.

PREDICTION

Columbia and Japan advance.

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