Colombia and Ivory Coast come into their game on Thursday flying high. Both teams won their opening games of the World Cup and are tied atop the Group C standings. They will look to knock each other off, with the winner taking a major step toward the Round of 16.
QUESTIONS STILL?: While both teams were dominant at times in their wins, some questions remain. Colombia’s attack was so pinpoint that their sometimes shaky defense remains largely untested on this huge stage. On the other side, Ivory Coast were able to get 21 shots off but put only five on target, scoring their goals within two minutes of each other.
SUPERSUB DROGBA: The legendary Ivorian striker Didier Drogba was benched for the start of the game against Japan, only coming on in the 62nd minute as a substitute. Although he did not contribute directly to either goal, the Elephants did score two goals within five minutes as soon as he was on the field. Given this, will he get the start against Colombia?
BACCA DONE: José Pekerman made the tough decision of leaving Radamel Falcao at home after he could not recover in time from his torn ACL suffered in January. Now another striker, Carlos Bacca, has been ruled out for this game and maybe the rest of the World Cup. Pekerman still has Teófilo Gutiérrez, Jackson Martínez and Adrián Ramos to choose from.
THE STAR YOU KNOW
- Yaya Touré, midfielder, Ivory Coast – Touré was mostly quiet in the game against Japan, save for a couple of his signature runs, but don’t be surprised if he collects his first goal against Colombia.
THE PLAYER WHO WILL SURPRISE YOU
- James Rodríguez, midfielder, Colombia – Learn to say "HAH-mess" instead of James. He already has a goal and an assist in the tournament, but the 22-year-old attacking threat will want to add to his tallies on Thursday.