The teams from Groups C and D will start their bids for the 2014 World Cup on Saturday, with a total of four matches on tap for fans all over the globe to enjoy.
England and 2006 champions Italy will steal the limelight when they meet in Manaus, but Colombia, Uruguay, Ivory Coast and Japan are all being marked as dark horses, and their respective styles of play all but ensure that Day 3 of the tournament will be a wild one.
Let's have a look at the schedule for Saturday, including full TV and live stream info:
|2014 World Cup Day 3 Schedule|
|Time||Match||TV Guide||Live Stream|
|12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BST||Group C: Colombia vs. Greece||ABC/BBC 1||WatchESPN/BBC iPlayer|
|3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BST||Group D: Uruguay vs. Costa Rica||ABC/ITV||WatchESPN/ITV Player|
|6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BST||Group D: England vs. Italy||ESPN/BBC 1||WatchESPN/BBC iPlayer|
|9 p.m. ET/2 a.m. BST (Sunday)||Group C: Ivory Coast vs. Japan||ESPN/ITV||WatchESPN/ITV Player|
Colombia vs. Greece
The 2004 European champions struggled in the friendlies they played in preparation for the tournament, which served to highlight a lack of creativity and chemistry between the team's midfielders and the attacking duo of Kostas Mitroglou and Georgios Samaras.
Not that the Greeks will care—the team is built around a solid organisation and a defence that doesn't concede easily. And in a group featuring three teams that prefer to play a wide-open, attacking brand of football, Greece could be in good position to pull off an upset.
Colombia can field a very talented starting XI, even without the mercurial Radamel Falcao. Carlos Bacca and Jackson Martinez are two lethal forwards capable of breaking a match open on their own, while Juan Cuadrado established himself as one of the most exciting midfielders in all of football in 2013-14.
Cristian Zapata, Pablo Armero and Juan Camilo Zuniga are all experienced, veteran defenders plying their trade in the Italian Serie A. Though Colombia have a tendency to lose focus at times, the defence can be very solid if they stick to their task for the full 90 minutes.
Colombia much prefer to attack than defend, and their match with Greece will be a clash of styles. It will be interesting to see how the South Americans deal with the blue wall of defenders they'll encounter, but there's too much talent at their disposal for Colombia not to win.
Prediction: Colombia 2-0 Greece
Uruguay vs. Costa Rica
Japan completely overran the Costa Ricans in the second half of their friendly just two weeks ago, as it became evident Costa Rica are a good team lacking the athletic ability to play quality football for the full 90 minutes.
That isn't necessarily a death sentence—the team will just have to be careful in picking their moments to attack, and make sure their efficiency is top notch when they do.
Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell provide nearly all of the chances, and unless these two are at the top of their game, Uruguay shouldn't have too many problems registering a victory.
La Celeste are more than just Luis Suarez, and their performances in the last few editions of the World Cup prove the winners of the inaugural tournament are a force to be reckoned with. Diego Godin was phenomenal for Atletico Madrid in 2013-14, while their attack of Suarez and Edinson Cavani is one of the deadliest on the planet.
Prediction: Uruguay 3-0 Costa Rica
England vs. Italy
It's not an insult to the other three fixtures to say that this is the match fans will be looking forward to the most on Saturday. Italy and England are two powerhouses in world football, and while the Three Lions may have a history of disappointing at the World Cup, the Premier League will ensure interest in the national team is always high.
The Azzurri didn't look very good against Luxembourg or Ireland, but we've seen countless times before that form and momentum don't seem to matter when the Italians play in a big tournament. Italy have travelled to Brazil with an experienced, veteran squad that thoroughly dominated possession against England during Euro 2012.
This isn't the same England team, however. Players such as Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana all had wonderful 2013-14 season, and they will get their first real chance to show what they can do on the biggest stage football has to offer.
For all of their youthful enthusiasm, England have a tendency to allow advancing midfielders far too much time on the ball, and with a lot of the focus going to stopping Andrea Pirlo, someone like Marco Verratti could have a field day enjoying acres of space in the centre of the pitch.
Stopping Mario Balotelli will be another big task for the England defence, but in Gary Cahill they have a reliable centre-back who will enjoy going toe-to-toe with the powerful forward.
Prediction: England 1-1 Italy
Ivory Coast vs. Japan
The last match of the day may be the most intriguing one for neutral fans: Ivory Coast's veteran stars against Japan's army of interchanging wingers and forwards.
The Samurai Blue cruised through qualifiers and have spent the last few months playing friendlies that turned into goal fests, preferring simply to outscore opponents than defend a lead.
Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda are the two main stars, but Yoichiro Kakitani could be the best candidate to put in a breakout performance during the 2014 World Cup. The 24-year-old forward is in the form of his life, and with defences not having played against him before, his excellent off-the-ball movement could catch teams by surprise.
Ivory Coast are more than just Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure, but you can't overlook the fantastic season the latter put in with Manchester City. Perhaps the most complete midfielder in the world, his main task will be obstructing the passing lanes Japan thrive on offensively.
Gervinho reinvented himself in Italy last season, while Wilfried Bony enjoyed some success during his first season in the Premier League. Ivory Coast will go as far as their attack can take them, but looking at the tremendous talent they can field, punters won't dare to bet against them.
Prediction: Ivory Coast 2-3 Japan
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