Early Group C leaders can draw comfort.
The top two clash in Group C with Colombia looking to reinforce their status as tournament dark-horses, while the Ivory Coast remain on course to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time after both sides claimed opening victories.
Colombia cruised to a 3-0 win against Greece and will again be backed by fervent ‘home’ support who will turn the Estadio Nacional into a sea of yellow. Ivory Coast had to come from behind to defeat Japan after missing a host of chances but will be boosted by that turnaround.
The most intriguing battle here will take place in midfield where influential midfielders James Rodriguez and Yaya Toure go head to head.
Yaya Toure captained the Elephants against Japan and, although not at his best after recovering from a hamstring injury, will have benefited from that run out.
Rodriguez capped a fine overall display with the third goal against Greece, where his hard running and ability to get ahead of the play were as impressive as his playmaking ability.
The Ivory Coast could well keep the inspirational Didier Drogba in reserve again, after his second-half introduction helped turn the game in their favour against Japan.
Colombia will be wary of their aerial threat, too, after Swansea’s Wilfred Bony and former Arsenal forward Gervinho scored with headers to down the Japanese, with both crosses supplied by reported Arsenal right-back target Serge Aurier.
While much has been made of Colombia’s array of attacking talent – even in the continued absence of star forward Radamel Falcao – Joe Pekerman’s team also boast a mean defensive record, conceding only 13 goals in 16 qualifying matches, as well as holding Greece goalless last Saturday.
After picking up three points in their respective opening games neither side is in must-win territory and a draw, available at 23/10, will probably suit both teams.
The match kicks off at 5pm UK time on Thursday, June 19th in Estadio Nacional, Brasilia.