Colombia is planning to rely on a possession game to combat the speed and power of Ivory Coast when the two sides meet in Brasilia on Thursday.
It is a Group ‘C’ match in which there is everything to gain for two sides which began their World Cup campaigns with victories.
Colombia tops the group after a dominant 3-0 victory over Greece while Ivory Coast hit back from a goal down to beat Japan 2-1.
The Japanese struggled to make their high-tempo, high-energy gameplan work against the Africans but Colombia midfielder Fredy Guarin says the South Americans will look to bypass the physical advantages of the Elephants by making the ball do the work.
The Inter Milan player said Colombia was “ready” and “looking forward” to the match against opponents who are “powerful and very fast”.
A victory for either side would potentially secure the passage into the last 16, depending on the result between Japan and Greece, but although he didn’t say as much, Guarin suggested Colombia would be happy to settle simply for a clean sheet.
The main plus for the Africans, though, is that after group stage elimination in 2006 and 2010, at least this time they have begun their campaign with a victory.
This time around their group is considerably less daunting than at the last two editions.
In 2006 they had been eliminated before their final group game victory over Serbia-Montenegro having already lost both to Argentina and the Netherlands. — AFP