On Tuesday, 24 June 2014, Greece vs Ivory Coast will go head-to-head at Estádio Castelão, in Fortaleza (1:00 PM), for both sides’ third match at the Brazil’s World Cup. For the Africans and for the Greeks alike, it’s make-or-break time, since they both need to win if they want to pass on to the next stage of the competition.
Greece’s performances at the World Cup have been fairly disappointing: during their opening match against Colombia, they were suffered a heavy defeat (3-0) and for their second game, against Japan, the team only managed to obtain a 0-0 draw.
The latter game was, in fact and according to the public and pundits’ opinion, one of the blandest matches of the World Cup so far. After the team’s mishap on the first match and for Greece’s second match against the Japanese, the Portuguese manager Fernando Santos tried to implement some changes in his team, while remaining faithful to his favourite 4-3-3 scheme.
Such game style has yet to produce any interesting results for the Hellenic team at this competition, but, for the match against Ivory Coast, Greece’s coach will probably stick to his gun as far as game tactics go, although he won’t be able to count on the presence of Mitroglou, the team’s most prolific centre forward, since he suffered an injury during the last match and is yet to be fully recovered.
As for the African team, although they currently occupy the second place of the group with 3 points, they desperately need to win to secure their presence at the round of 16. During their first match, they did defeat Japan, but failed to replicate that same good result against the almighty Colombia, currently the group leaders.
Ivory Coast have been quite inconsistent and even erratic at times. During the match against Japan, for instance, the team’s attitude only changed after Drogba came in as a substitute, already during the second half; as for the match against Colombia, Lamouchi’s men were often completely overpowered by the South American team and only managed to shake off that numbness after Gervinho scored a goal, already late in the second half.
Greece (4-3-3) – Karnezis – Torosidis – Sokratis – Vyntra – Holebas – Tziolis – Kone – Karagounis – Salpingidis – Samaras – Gekas
Ivory Coast (4-3-3) – Barry – Aurier – K. Touré – Bamba – Boka – Tiote – Die – Y. Touré – Gervinho – Kalou – Bony
Greece vs Ivory Coast Prediction
The match against Greece will probably show a different Ivory Coast, since the manager will need to be sure that the players on the pitch are motivated enough to grant a much needed victory; otherwise, it will be Greece or even Japan’s time to pass on to the round of 16. Furthermore, Zokora, a very important player in the team’s current strategy, will surely miss the match due to suspension.
Both teams still have a shot of walking through to the next stage of the competition, although for Greece such possibility is a much longer shot. Therefore, Ivory Coast should be seen as favourites to win the match and, with this is mind, the most likely outcome is a win for the African Elephants.
Greece 1 – 2 Ivory Coast
Greece vs Ivory Coast Television
The Greece vs Ivory Coast match will be televised in the USA on ESPN3 (stream) and Univision Deportes at 1:00 PM Pacific.