Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan and Greece will compete in Group C in what represents an interesting competition. Colombia will be the overwhelming favorites with their world-class talent giving them the edge, but it's anyone's guess as to who will progress from Japan and the Ivory Coast. For Greece ... well, hard luck.
Colombia have one of their most talented sides in generations, perhaps ever. With the likes of Falcao, James Rodriguez and Jackson Martinez, they have the players to beat any team in the world, particularly in attack. But they might take some time to grow into the tournament. Their team has become increasingly well-organized in recent years, with some veteran defenders giving them a solidity as well as a great balance between youth and experience. They don't have the pedigree of the bigger sides, but their host of world-class players make them the clear favorites to top this group.
Going through: Ivory Coast
The Ivory Coast have been one of Africa's strongest teams on paper for some time, but have often failed to get as far in tournaments as they perhaps should, with Ghana emerging as the continent's representatives in the last World Cup. This is a special tournament for the West Africans, as it will surely be the last World Cup for their legendary captain Didier Drogba. The striker may be getting on in years, but he will still be crucial to their chances of progressing. They are undoubtedly a strong side, but they don't quite have the level of talent among their ranks that Colombia does. It'll basically be a straight fight between them and Japan for the second place.
Japan have continued their rapid growth in quality since co-hosting the tournament in 2002, and have built up a much stronger squad than they had at even the last tournament, where their star player Keisuke Honda was forced to play out of position as a striker. Since then, other stars have emerged, notably Shinji Kagawa, even if the midfielder has struggled to settle at Manchester United. The Japanese have always possessed technical quality, but they have a much deeper squad than before, and a coach who boasts a Serie A title to his name. The game between them and Ivory Coast will be crucial -- the two teams are very well-matched and it's very difficult to predict who will emerge in second place.
Dead Last: Greece
Most well-known for an absurd triumph at Euro 2004, where they defended deep and relied on set pieces, the Greeks have never possessed a particularly strong side and are easily the weakest team in this group. Without any real stars, the Greeks tend to rely on being well-organized, but it's impossible to see them holding out against the attacking talent they'll face from the other three teams in this group. This is very much a three-horse race, and Greece are surely doomed.
Best Player: Radamel Falcao
It was a surprise to see one of the best players in the world join AS Monaco in the summer, and he hasn't been awe-inspiring since joining, but the Colombian striker is one of the greatest players on the planet right now. One of the most complete attackers in the game, he possesses the ability to score goals out of nothing and will be backed up by some brilliant creative talent. He will be a huge player if Colombia are to live up to their undoubted potential.
Emerging Star: Shinji Kagawa
The Manchester United midfielder is not particularly young, but this will be his first World Cup and it will be interesting to see how much influence he can have on such a grand stage. World Cup games are usually tense, tight affairs, and in theory players like Kagawa can excel by doing something to make a real difference. Japan will be hugely reliant on the player to turn up at his first appearance on the biggest stage of all if they are to progress.
Must-Watch Game: Ivory Coast vs. Japan
Colombia may have more talent, but this matchup will surely decide who goes through of these two teams in what will be a very tight contest. It's likely to be a winner-takes-all affair, virtually a knockout stage game in the group stages. This will also be the last game of the group stage, in Fortaleza -- both teams will surely know what they're up against, making it a mouthwatering clash.