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Previewing Tuesday's World Cup games

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Colombia is a virtual lock to win Group C, but other spots in knockout stage are in play in four games Tuesday

TUESDAY'S GAMES

GROUP D: ITALY VS. URUGUAY

Where: Natal. Time: 9 a.m. PDT.

TV: ESPN, Univision.

The buzz: Uruguay and Italy enter their group-play finale tied for second in the table but facing different challenges to reach the second round. Thanks to a superior goal differential, Italy can advance with a win or a draw; for Uruguay, nothing short of victory will do. Italy probably will be without defensive midfielder Daniele De Rossi but is hoping to get back midfielder Marco Verratti and left back Mattia De Sciglio. The teams met here last summer in the third-place game of the Confederations Cup with Italy winning in a penalty shootout.

GROUP D: COSTA RICA VS. ENGLAND

Where: Belo Horizonte. Time: 9 a.m. PDT.

TV: ESPN2, UniMas/Galavision.

The buzz: Costa Rica is going on and England is going home. But England doesn't want to leave without a point, something it has never done in a World Cup. Costa Rica, meanwhile, is playing for position. With a tie, it wins the group and will be matched with the Group C runner-up — likely Ivory Coast — in the knockout stage.

GROUP C: JAPAN VS. COLOMBIA

Where: Cuiaba. Time: 1 p.m. PDT.

TV: ESPN, Univision.

The buzz: Colombia wins the group with a draw — and, given its big lead in goal differential, probably wins it with a loss as well. Japan has a much narrower path to the knockout stage, needing a win here and a narrow victory by Greece over Ivory Coast. Japan must change something offensively after scoring just one goal so far — in the 16th minute of its opener, meaning it has been shut out for the last 164 minutes of regulation time.

GROUP C: GREECE VS. IVORY COAST

Where: Fortaleza. Time: 1 p.m. PDT.

TV: ESPN2, UniMas/Galavision.

The buzz: Greece hasn't scored in this World Cup. But after holding Japan scoreless with 10 men to earn a draw in its second game, Greece does have a point and that gives it some hope. But advancing won't be easy. Greece needs a win over Ivory Coast and a Japanese loss or draw against Colombia. Ivory Coast, meanwhile, all but assures itself a place in the second round with a draw. The country's soccer federation said it will double the players' World Cup bonus if the team beats Greece, which will be without midfielder Kostas Katsouranis after he was red-carded in the 38th minute of the Japan game.

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