Colombian fans and backers around the globe can be found curled into balls under their duvets, wallowing in salty messes of their own tears following the revelation that the nation’s leading frontman Radamel Falcao has failed to recover from a knee injury to be involved in the World Cup.
The Monaco marksman was omitted from Tricolor’s final 23-man squad to travel to Brazil and, as a result, their price to win the tournament sky-rocketed.
Jose Pekerman’s men can now be backed at a ginormous 40/1, a price savvy punters will be all over in the knowledge that the South American side can cope just fine without the one-dimensional goal machine.
In addition to enhancing their value to lift the trophy, the 28-year-old’s absence has simultaneously dynamited the door open on the Colombia team top-scorer market, with ample opportunities to turn a profit now available.
Jackson Martinez is the obvious favourite to claim the accolade at 5/2 and his mediocre return of 26 goals in eight games shouldn’t perturb potential backers.
The side work off a blueprint designed to bring the best out of Falcao’s finishing prowess and this has meant that the Porto striker’s ever so slightly substandard ability to beat the keeper has often been sacrificed.
He works best as the focal point of the attack and, without the former Atletico Madrid star, he’ll surely be handed the chance to do so.
One man not to back, however, is River Plate’s Teo Gutierrez at 7/2.
The former Trabzonspor forward featured regularly in qualifying, but this is largely for his hold up skills rather than anything else, which was again designed at extracting gold from their stricken superstar.
There’s no need to accommodate for Falcao’s lack of an all-round game now and the team could adopt a modernised, solo-striker system.
If they do so, Gutierrez will be the man axed, which brings us on to Carlos Bacca.
The Sevilla goal-getter has found the net twice from nine international outings and has the pace and willingness to beat defenders to be effective on either flank of a 4-3-3 formation, where there’ll be space aplenty.
Not shy when it comes to unleashing from range, he’s sure to have a multitude of attempts to find the net and 14 goals in 27 La Liga starts suggests he’s got a ruthless streak about him too.
If a more attractive proposition than Martinez is what you’re after then lump on Bacca at 5/1.