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World Cup Day Three: Côte d'Ivoire v. Japan

Saturday's nightcap is a crucial Group C encounter, with Côte d'Ivoire facing off against Japan at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife.

Mark Kolbe

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Preview'

Côte d'Ivoire v. Japan
Saturday, June 14th | 2AM BST/9PM EST
Television Listings | Full Schedule

Group C

The Cote d'Ivoire's "Golden Generation" will be giving it one last go in Brazil, hoping to make their mark at a World Cup for the first time in their nation's history. They qualified in each of 2006 and 2010 but failed to make it out of the group stages on both occasions. With most of the nation's established talent aging, there's plenty of names you'll recognize, with Yaya and Kolo Toure, Gervinho, Serge Aurier, Solomon Kalou, Didier Zokora, Chiek Tiote, and Wilfried Bony all in the squad, and in a fairly open Group C they'll hope to make their mark before bidding farewell to the international careers of so many of their nation's best-known players.

Japan are a popular pick to make a run, mostly on the strength of an excellent qualifying campaign and, like Cote d'Ivoire, a number of established internationals. Keisuke Honda, Shinji Okazaki, Shinji Kagawa and Yuto Nagatomo are all experienced, and there's quality throughout that could see Japan take charge in a group that will see them challenge Colombia and today's opposition.

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