Colombia vs Greece
Kickoff 11am CT
Colombia - It's a shame that Falcao is out. He is a joy to watch. A world-class striker missing from the World Cup hurts the World Cup. He is their star player. I can't explain just how excited I was about watching him play in this World Cup. I still think they have a very strong squad. They can call on Jackson Martinez, Gutierrez, Ramos and Bacca to replace Falcao, 4 very good strikers. I can't wait to see Cuadrado bombing down the right side, I've enjoyed watching him play for Fiorentina (and he's now being linked with Barcelona). And James Rodriguez of Monaco doing the same on the left. Then you remember that they also have players like Guarin and Aguilar in the middle . My worry about Colombia is that their defence isn't as good as it could be, I imagine that one of the bigger teams in the tournament would be able to score a few against them. I'm hoping to see Quintero get playing time. He was outstanding in a youth tournament last year, he looked like the kind of player who would have a flair and creativity rating of 20 on Football Manager.
Greece - Greece are a very weird team (in my opinion). I genuinely don't know what to think about this team. I can see them getting out of this group ahead of Ivory Coast if they are at their best, but I imagine they will take 3rd place. They need Mitroglou to be over the knee injury that meant he played very little football for Fulham. He's too good for the Championship, I am sure he will move to a good club, but an impressive performance this summer could help him move to a bigger club. They have wide players who will leave it all on the pitch, and will have an extremely high work-rate. I am a fan of their centre back pairing (Sokratis and Manolas), it will be interesting to see how they play. I don't know too much about their midfield, but I am a fan of Karagounis, even if he is reaching the end of his career.
Uruguay vs Costa Rica
Kickoff 2pm CT
Uruguay - Uruguay have two world-class talents leading the line. They will need Luis Suarez to be fit, I don't see them doing well if he plays games with an injury. I think they are doomed if he isn't able to play with the energy he usually plays with. Cavani wasn't at his best this season, though he was playing second fiddle to Ibrahimovic, and he still managed to get a respectable number of goals. Cavani certainly has the ability to be a matchwinner. The weather conditions might help Uruguay and could make it difficult for the two European teams. Lugano is their weak link. I think a striker with pace, agility and intelligent movement will love playing against him. Godin is a different story, he was great this season. I think the other teams will be able to score goals, they just have to make sure that Cavani and Suarez are kept quiet, which will be easier if Suarez isn't 100% fit.
Costa Rica - I feel bad for their players, they will want to make sure that they don't concede too many goals, as I don't see them getting a single point. I've been very impressed withNavas, I saw a few La Liga games that he was playing in, and he looked magnificent. He will need to be in similar form to help Costa Rica. Costa Rica's squad is technically inferiors to the other squads, so they will need to make sure that their work-rate is superior. Bryan Ruiz is capable of doing something great, and Joel Campbell looked excellent in the UEFA CL games I saw him play. I really hope they shock the world and perform better than most of us expect.