Radamel Falcao must have been rubbing his hands with goal-scoring excitement at the prospect of showcasing his undisputed talent on the world stage at the Brazil-based World Cup, only to have that opportunity ruined by a season-ending injury when playing for Monaco.
A heavy tackle on the Colombian during a French Cup outing has put his Brazilian participation to an end and subsequently leaves his nation looking elsewhere for a saviour come tournament time.
Colombia are the 5/6 favourites to win Group C this summer, which also contains Ivory Coast, Japan and Greece.
That price was largely attributed to the fact that the £50m front man was among their ranks, particularly as he helped himself to a team-leading nine goals during qualification for the globally watched tournament.
While Colombia should still come through their group, which is one of the weaker collections on display, their chances of progressing much further in the competition will be severely hampered by Falcao’s absence in the latter stages, as the class of opponent dials up.
Pressure will now be placed on Porto front man Jackson Martinez to carry the scoring load, with Teofilo Gutierrez, who scored six times in qualification, in support.
If those two can fire Colombia out of the group, which is currently a 2/7 possibility, then they face an immediate challenge with one of Uruguay, England and Italy waiting in the next round.
That’s followed by a potential quarter final against Brazil, Spain or the Netherlands and without the man who’s five goals short of breaking the nation’s scoring record, it’s difficult to see Jose Pekerman’s side going too far in the competition.
It’s therefore wise to place a Colombian-based wager on them crashing out in the quarter finals at 13/5, with a second round exit at 6/4 equally attractive.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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