Fifa World Cup 2014:Colombia versus Greece preview

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Belo Horizonte (Brazil), June 14: Colombia and Greece will kick off their World Cup campaign at Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte on Saturday. Colombia are considered the dark horses of this tournament and are the favourites to top Group C which also features Japan and Ivory Coast.

The team's star player, Flacao, received an injury but the pool of talents in James Rodriguez, Juan Fernando Quintero and Juan Cuadrado will make up for that loss for sure.


Colombia are returning to the World Cup after 1998 and they finished second in the South American qualification. However, the team will hope not to get burdened by the ‘dark horse' tag as it had in 1994 when it failed to go past the first round. Soccer pundits had pinned a big hope on Colombia, which had beaten Argentina 5-0 in its own backyard ahead of that World Cup!

Colombia made it to the last 16 in 1990 but Greece never went past the 1st round

After missing three World Cups, can Colombia revive its golden era that had ended with the murder of its player Andres Escober for scoring a self-goal against the USA in the 1994 edition?

Greece, on the other hand, are an ageing side with the average age of 28.5 years. The outfit, however, is an hard-working one and remained unbeaten in three World Cup warm-up games, with one win over Bolivia. This is Greece's third World Cup and they never went past the first round.

At 37, skipper Giorgos Karagounis could be past his prime and Greece will look to young defender Papasthopoulos to deliver this time. Greece's strength will be its defence. If fielded, Giorgos Karagounis will be playing his 136th international match on Saturday.

The Greek team features six Serie A players in their squad Colombia and Greece have never met in a competitive match and the only time when they had met was in 1994 when the South Americans won 2-0.

Greece's Giorgos Karagounis will be making his 136 international appearance if he plays on Saturday.

Greece have six Serie A players in their squad, the third highest out of all the World Cup teams.

Potential XI:

Colombia: Ospina; Zuniga, Yepes, Zapata, Armero; Cuadrado, Aguilar, Rodriguez, Sanchez; Gutierez, Martinez.

Greece: Karnezis; Torosidis, Papasthathopoulos, Manolas, Holebas; Salpingidis, Katsouranis, Maniatis, Kone; Samaras, Mitroglou.

The match will begin at 9.30 pm IST.

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