VERDICT: This is likely to be a tight, entertaining and close group that can go the way of Colombia, who have improved so rapidly under Jose Penkerman in such a short time. After just three games of qualifying the change was made and they ended up finishing second only to Argentina in the CONEMEBOL section with Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay behind for good measure. The loss of Falcao is a tough blow but they carry plenty of forward threat and conceded just 13 goals on their way to the finals, which reassures one about defensive worries. All four sides can have realistic hopes of making the last 16 and look too tight to choose between Japan, whose defensive mistakes cost them badly in the Confederations Cup and could do so again, the Ivory Coast, who finally have a fair group, or Greece, who are miserly and compact in the extreme but can be let down by a lack of offensive power.
Advice: 4 pts Colombia (11/10 Skybet, Bet Victor)