Colombia v Japan Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
June 15, 2018
Mordovia Arena - World Cup Group H
The penultimate game of the first round of World Cup group fixtures sees Colombia and Japan get things going in Group H. In an open section that also contains Poland and Senegal, this opening game could be crucial in deciding whether either of these teams reach the knockout stage.
These two teams also met in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup, with Colombia trouncing Japan 4-1. Shinji Okazaki cancelled out Juan Cuadrado’s opener in first-half injury time, before a Jackson Martinez brace put the South Americans in charge. James Rodriguez rounded off the scoring in the 89th minute.
There’s no doubting where Colombia’s major strength lies coming into the World Cup. La Tricolor have a fearsome attack, especially if Radamel Falcao is fit and firing. As well as El Tigre, James and Cuadrado, Carlos Bacca is more than capable of putting the ball in the back of the net.
Japan are also equipped with some decent firepower, not least in Leicester forward Okazaki who has 50 international goals to his name. Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa also contribute 66 goals between them.
Colombia v Japan Preview and Predictions
It’s fair to say that Group H is the most wide open group at the World Cup, with no clear favourite. Each team has a star name or two who can hurt the other teams in the section, but Colombia have the edge over the rest thanks to their attacking prowess.
Los Cafeteros will hope that James Rodriguez puts in the kind of performances that fired him to the Golden Boot in Brazil, earning him a big-money move to Real Madrid in the process. The No 10 has been revitalised at Bayern Munich this season after his time at the Bernabeu soured, and La Tricolor are looking to him for inspiration.
Colombia are 4/5 to get their 2018 campaign underway with a win, while Japan are priced at 5/1. Their preparation hasn’t been the best after changing manager in April, and they lost both of their warm-up games against Ghana and Switzerland 2-0.
Their opponents on Tuesday have drawn their last two games 0-0 though, and a third straight stalemate for Colombia is available at 14/5. Before that pair of goalless draws though, Jose Pekerman’s side beat France 3-2, and they should have enough for the win.
Colombia to win to nil at 11/7
Japan are hardly a prolific side, scoring just three goals in their last six games, and Colombia should get started with a victory.
James to score anytime at 2/1
The Bayern Munich playmaker scored six goals in five games at the 2014 World Cup, and he’ll be a threat on Tuesday.