Colombia v Ivory Coast: Predicted lineups

Published June 19th, 2014 - 02:20 GMT

Colombia dominated Greece in their opening 3-0 victory to earn their first three points in their group over the weekend and now they will face arguably the best competition in their group in the Ivory Coast.

The South American nation will receive a boost due to the return of Fredy Guarin from suspension and he is expected to find his way into the first team in the place of Carlos Sanchez to be paired alongside of Abel Aguilar.

Falcao’s absence was thought to be a major blow for the Colombians but the performances of the team as well as standout showings from James Rodriguez, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado and Falcao stand-in Tefilo Gutierrez proved that their big name missing was not a major issue.

Jackson Martinez, despite all his hype and strong scoring form in Portugal, remains a player that will come off the bench as his movement and ability to lead the line does not seem present when he is with his national team.

The Ivory Coast at times looked a bit shaky against Japan going behind early, but the second half proved that they had what it takes and that Didier Drogba was still able to help cultivate some magic.

A surging performance by the African nation saw them roar back to win and prove that they are without a doubt the strongest African side in the tournament with the best chance of progressing out of their group.

Gervinho continues to show his renaissance of form, while Yaya Toure looks to only be running at half speed and should be more into the match this afternoon. Wilfried Bony is still expected to start at the top of the line, but Drogba is almost guaranteed an appearance for the last half an hour as the man that can always make things happen.

Colombia Starting XI: Ospina: Zuniga, Yepes, Zapata, Armero; Aguilar, Guarin; Cuadrado, Rodriguez, Ibarbo; Gutierrez.

Ivory Coast Starting XI: Barry; Aurier, Zokora, Bamba, Djakpa; Die, Tiote; Kalou, Toure, Gervinho; Bony.

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