World Cup 2014
Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 02:00 GMT (June 14, 22:00 Local time)
Arena Pernambuco, Recife
Ivory Coast vs Japan Preview
Ivory Coast and Japan are probably the most attractive football teams from outside Europe and South America. These two teams are probably the most likely candidates, together with Colombia, for reaching a place in the knockout stage of the World Cup, so their mutual battle is of great importance for both teams.
Players from the Ivory Coast have played in the best European clubs for years, affecting creation the impression that football team of this country is perhaps the best on the African continent, regardless of the order made in the championship of the continent. They have not yet confirmed such a quality as champions of the African continent, and even qualify for the World Cup was not easy for them, because it was achieved after two matches with Senegal (3-1, 1-1). Didier Drogba is a major asset of the Elephant, but it is strange that there has not been a place in the team for excellent striker Doumbia.
Probable line-up of Ivory Coast (4-2-3-1): Barry – Aurier, Kolo Toure, Bamba, Boka – Tiote, Zokora – Gervinho, Yaya Toure, Kalou – Drogba
Thanks to strangers in the J-League, the quality of football in Japan has become closer to European and South American. In addition, many Japanese players play in European clubs, which further raises the price of their national team. Japan has qualified to the World Cup long before most other teams, so they have been playing friendly matches for almost a year, achieving quite good results, especially this year when they have won against all opponents – New Zealand, Cyprus, Costa Rica, and Zambia. Coach Zaccheroni may be satisfied with efficiency of his team, but a number of conceded goals is the reason to be worried at the same time. Therefore the recovery of defender Uchida and return to the team is good news for Japan.
Probable line-up of Japan (4-2-3-1): Kawashima – Uchida, Yoshida, Morishige, Nagatomo – Yamaguchi, Endo – Okazaki, Honda, Kagawa – Kakitani
Ivory Coast vs Japan Match Prediction
Goals in this game are expected, but you cannot be sure in that, bearing in mind the unpredictability of the teams in the earlier official competitions. However, it seems to me that the Ivory Coast is better team and that they will take the three points at the start of the championship. Ivory Coast DNB.