Prediction: Colombia vs Japan

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Prediction: Colombia vs Japan

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Harry Kettle

Prediction: Colombia win

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

The majority of the nations in the 2018 FIFA World Cup have now competed in their first group stage game, but there are still a handful of sides waiting to make an impact. Two such examples are Colombia and Japan, and while they may be polar opposite countries, they both have a mutual goal – defy expectations and qualify for the knockout stages. In many ways, they’re both considered to be underdogs in their group, but as we’ve seen in the past, that’ll suit these two just fine.

Colombia

Four years ago, Colombia seemed to be adopted as everyone’s favourite second team in the 2014 World Cup. Courtesy of some phenomenal performances from James Rodriguez and company, they were able to breeze through their group before eventually coming undone against hosts Brazil in the quarter-finals. Now, four years later, many supporters and pundits are sleeping on them once again – even though all signs indicate that, if anything, they possess a stronger team this time around.

Team News

James Rodriguez and Wilmar Barrios are both facing a race against time to be fit for this one. Elsewhere, Cuadrado, Falcao and Arsenal’s own David Ospina will be seen as the catalysts behind Colombia’s run this year.

Japan

Japan are no strangers to the World Cup stage, but in recent times, they’ve struggled to make much of an impact. They’re often seen as a nation who make up the numbers and are never really able to do anything of note beyond their own group, but in qualifying, they were able to showcase the kind of consistency they need with just two losses in ten games. With no real major teams to contend with in their group, they could fancy themselves as one of the surprise packages of Russia 2018.

Team News

Japan have a fully fit squad to choose from for their World Cup opener. Yuto Nagatomo and Maya Yoshida are the notable names at the back for the Japanese, whereas Keisuke Honda will be aiming to make an impact up top.

Factors to Consider

  • Colombia are unbeaten against Japan with two wins and one draw, including a 4-1 victory in the 2014 World Cup.
  • Japan’s next group game will be against Senegal on Sunday.
  • Colombia’s next group game will be against Poland on Sunday.
  • Japan have won one, drawn one and lost four of their last six games.
  • Colombia have won two, drawn three and lost one of their last six games.

Conclusion

It’s tough to measure quality against heart in football, especially when it comes to an international tournament of this magnitude. With Poland and Senegal both being seen as strong contenders to qualify for the knockout stages, it’s vital for both teams that they don’t drop points in this one. Japan have a few playmakers who could make a real difference, but in the end, we think that Colombia will just about have enough to edge out a 2-1 victory. It won’t be easy, but they’ve been here before.

Prediction: Colombia win

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

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