World Cup Preview – Group H | Colombia v Japan – Poland v Senegal

The final group left to taste World Cup action get underway on Tuesday with Group H with Poland and Colombia entering the fray.

Poland kick-off against Senegal in Moscow, but before that Colombia take on Japan in Saransk.

Colombia are considered favourites for the group, and coach Jose Pekerman is confident mood – saying: “We want to represent the country well through our football.”

Jpana coach Akira Nishino admits it would be something of a ‘miracle’ if his side can beat Colombia, but they hope to make it out of the group stage.

“I want to focus on defeating Colombia. That would be a small miracle,” he said.

Poland coach Adam Nawalka believes his side need to beat Senegal if they want to progress into the second phase.

“Everything will depend on it,” Nawalka said. “The start is critical.”

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse, the youngest boss at the finals, but he is full of confidence and insists they arrive thinking they can win.

“No one knows who is going to win the World Cup,” the coach said.

“My dream is to win and bring it to Senegal. We know it will be very hard. In any case, we’re certainly not going there for tourism.”

See below for a preview on the game, including predictions from former England and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and bet365’s Steve Freeth.

Colombia 13:00 Japan
Mordovia Arena, Saransk
Live on BBC


Colombia: David Ospina; Santiago Arias, Yerry Mina, Davinson Sanchez, Johan Mojica; Abel Aguilar, Carlos Sanchez, Juan Cuadrado, James Rodriguez; Luis Muriel, Radamel Falcao

Japan: Eiji Kawashima; Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Tomoaki Makino, Yuto Nagatomo; Makoto Hasebe, Gaku Shibasaki, Genki Haraguchi, Keisuke Honda, Takashi Inui; Yuya Osako

KEY FACT: Colombia beat Japan 4-1 at Brazil 2014
Match odds from bet365: COLOMBIA 4/6 DRAW 14/5 JAPAN 5/1
bet365 Pick: Colombia to win 1-0 @9/2
ANDY SAYS: I think this could be closer than some think but I still think Colombia will win…2-1
GRAEME SAYS: I am not sure how much Japan have to offer, and I can see an easy Colombia win…3-0
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: James Rodriguez – Made his name at a World Cup, could do with another big tournament

Poland 16:00 Senegal
Spartak Stadium, Moscow
Live on ITV


Poland: Wojciech Szczesny; Maciej Rebus, Michal Pazdan, Jan Bednarek, Lukasz Piszczek; Kamil Grosicki, Jacek Goralski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Piotr Zielinski; Robert Lewandowski​

Senegal: Khadim Ndiaye; Lamine Gassama, Kara Mbodji, Kalidou Koulibaly, Youssouf Sabaly; Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Cheikhou Kouyate, Gana Idrissa Gueye; Keita Balde, M’Baye Niang, Sadio Mane

KEY FACT: Poland have always made it through the group stages of the World Cup when they get at least a point in their opening match
Match odds from bet365: POLAND 27/20 DRAW 9/4 SENEGAL 12/5
bet365 Pick: Draw @9/4
ANDY SAYS: Has to be a Poland win here for me, I think they look quite strong….2-0
GRAEME SAYS: Tough game to call, I think Senegal will put up a good fight but Poland will edge it…2-1
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Robert Lewandowski – One of the best goalscorers in the world and could fly up the Index with a big tournament.

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