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World Cup on Saturday: Groups C and D begin play

World Cup on Saturday: Groups C and D begin play
England forward Wayne Rooney takes part in a training session at Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, on Friday in preparation for a group game against Italy on Saturay. (Antonio Calanni / Associated Press)

Group C: COLOMBIA vs. GREECE

Where: Belo Horizonte.

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Time: 9 a.m. PDT.

TV: ABC, Univision.

The buzz: With New Jersey's Mark Geiger in the center and Sean Hurd of Florida as his assistant, this will be the first game in World Cup history with two U.S. officials. Colombia finished a strong second in South American qualifying but will be without leading scorer Radamel Falcao in Brazil. Greece qualified through a two-leg playoff win over Romania behind three goals from Konstantinos Mitroglou.

IVORY COAST vs. JAPAN

Where: Recife.

Time: 6 p.m. PDT.

TV: ESPN, Univision.

The buzz: Japan's offense, the most potent among Asian teams, has a ton of international experience behind Milan's Keisuke Honda and Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa. Ivory Coast may be even more seasoned, though, with Didier Drogba upfront and Manchester City captain Yaya Toure, the three-time reigning African player of the year, in midfield.

Group D: URUGUAY vs. COSTA RICA

Where: Fortaleza.

Time: Noon PDT.

TV: ABC, Univision.

The buzz: The doctor will be Uruguay's most important figure in this one. Striker Luis Suarez, the English Premier League's leading scorer last season with Liverpool, had knee surgery last month and probably won't be cleared to start this one — especially if Diego Forlan, who missed training this week because of the flu, is allowed to play.

ENGLAND vs. ITALY

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Where: Manaus.

Time: 3 p.m. PDT.

TV: ESPN, Univision.

The buzz: The last time England was eliminated in group play was 1958. And this team can score in bunches behind Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. But Coach Roy Hodgson may choose to play cautiously against Italy and Mario Balotelli despite the fact Italy scored just one goal in drawing its two most recent World Cup warmups.

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