The Press Association's MatchStory team have captured advanced data for every goal scored and conceded by the 32 World Cup finalists during their qualifying matches, except Brazil for whom their fixtures in 2013 were used, to build a profile of each team's strengths, weaknesses and playing style. Here's their guide to Group C.
Colombia have flown under many people's radar heading into this tournament, yet they could be set to make waves in Brazil. Despite missing prized asset Radamel Falcao through injury, they still boast the attacking talents of Teofilo Gutierrez and Monaco's £50million man James Rodriguez: two men who in the absence of Falcao will be Colombia's main source of creativity and goals. Qualifying in second behind Argentina, Colombia demonstrated improved defensive qualities compared to previous campaigns, conceding just 0.81 goals per game - the lowest average of all South American qualifiers. Playing a 4-2-2-2 system, they launch attacks through the middle, scoring over two-thirds of their goals from central positions on the road to Brazil. Greece and Japan could prove stubborn opposition in this case, as both had credible records at preventing goals from this area, although with the creative Rodriguez roaming in from wide, Colombia always have an alternative threat.
Free-kicks are a speciality of the Colombians, too - at both ends of the pitch. They scored a fifth of goals from attacking free-kicks and were one of just seven of the 32 finalists to not concede from one. This could be the undoing of Greece, who shipped half of their goals this way, more than any team at the finals besides Iran.
For many of Ivory Coast's ageing stars, this World Cup will be their final chance to shine on the big stage. A powerful attack features Didier Drogba and a revitalised Gervinho, with the irrepressible Yaya Toure in midfield, so it is clear that the 'golden generation' still have enough quality to make an impact at this level. The Elephants qualified with ease, scoring in every game on the road to Brazil to record an impressive goal average of 2.58. Typically quick out of the blocks, they scored over a quarter of their goals in the first 15 minutes. However a fast start didn't always equal points: they failed to capitalise on those winning positions, securing just 89 per cent of possible points from leads. This is encouraging for Greece who proved strong at coming from behind, recovering 50 per cent of possible points - only seven other teams had a higher percentage of points recovered from losing positions.
For Greece, qualification looks a tough ask. Scoring just 1.33 goals per game through qualifying - the fourth-lowest of all the Brazil-bound teams - their strength, as it has been for more than 10 years now, looks to be in defending. They recorded the second-highest percentage of clean sheets through qualifying, shutting out their opponents in two thirds of their matches, and conceded just half a goal per game, the fifth-best average. With an ability to rescue points from losing positions and a defence which is difficult to break down, they may well cause an upset or two against their more fancied opponents.
Japan, the first team to book their ticket to Brazil, also have the tools at their disposal to make it out of Group C after a convincing qualifying campaign. Their most reliable source of goals came via the aerial route, from which they scored a third of their efforts. This is a useful tool against the Greeks, who conceded half of their goals from headers - only Russia conceded a greater share from aerial attacks. While Japan's aerial accuracy helped them to create almost half of their qualifying goals from out wide, in the Ivory Coast they meet opponents who excel at stopping these types of attacks. The Elephants' opponents created just 29 per cent of their goals from wide positions: unsurprising given some of the towering figures in the Ivorian team, and in a match that could decide who progresses, winning the aerial duels will be key.