Ivory Coast: City’s Toure is definitely the key player for the Ivorians as he was in terrific form last season, netting 20 and assisting nine goals in the Premier League. Also, the 31-year-old has scored six goals for Ivory Coast during the qualifiers.
Colombia: Now that Falcao has been sidelined, the Colombians will probably be relying on AS Monaco winger James Rodriguez, who created 43 chances (more than any other player in South America) during the World Cup qualifiers. The 22-year-old has also been good at club level, scoring nine goals and making 12 assists this season.
Greece: Fulham forward Kostas Mitroglou is probably Greece’s big weapon in their quest to make it out of the group stages. Although he was not impressive at Craven Cottage (owing to an injury), the 26-year-old netted 13 league goals from 12 appearances for former club Olympiakos in the first half of the season.
Japan: Despite not being in the best of forms, Milan’s Honda is probably Japan’s key player for the 2014 World Cup. Since his move from CSKA Moscow to Milan in January, the 27-year-old has been mainly deployed on the right wing, as opposed to his natural behind the striker position. Still Honda has been pretty decent, considering Milan’s poor domestic campaign this season.
14 June 2014: Colombia v Greece, Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
15 June 2014: Ivory Coast v Japan, Arena Pernambuco, Recife
19 June 2014: Colombia v Ivory Coast, Estadio Nacional, Brasilia
19 June 2014: Japan v Greece, Arena das Dunas, Natal
24 June 2014: Japan v Colombia, Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba
24 June 2014: Greece v Ivory Coast, Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza
Predictions: Ivory Coast to top the group with Colombia in second place, followed by Greece and Japan. (Deccan Chronicle