A look at Colombia’s rivals in Group H of the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Colombia was one of the surprises at the 2014 FIFA World Cup along with James Rodriguez, who finished as the top scorer with six goals. Los Cafeteros reached the quarterfinals of the competition and were knocked out by Brazil, the hosts of the tournament. James Rodriguez has progressed heavily since then as he is now Colombia’s team captain while the team is certainly more talented than it was four years ago.
Players like Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, Johan Mojica, and Radamel Falcao are now in the picture which could make this squad a force. However, it will be in a very tough Group H and here is what Jose Nestor Pekerman’s men have in store in the group stage of the global competition.
Japan seems to be the weak point in this group, but is still a very decent team with plenty of experienced players that play in top leagues. Akira Nishino counts with players like Yuto Nagatomo, Maya Yoshida, Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa, Makoto Hasebe and Shinji Okazaki that can make this Japan team troublesome to Colombia and other teams in this group.
Blue Samurai finished first in Group B of the AFC qualifiers in route to this World Cup but have struggled recently. The Asian side did defeat Paraguay 4-2 in its latest game, but lost three consecutive games before that. Japan could surprise some people in this group, especially with the experience it has, but for now, it is considered the weak link in Group H.
The Lions of Teranga are a dark horse candidate in this edition of the World Cup with an extremely talented squad. Senegal really is a complete team that has very physical and pacey players that can trouble any team in the tournament. The defense is rigid with players like Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Hanover 96’s Salif Sane. The midfield also has some very strong players with Cheikhou Kouyate and Cheikh N’Doye along with Idrissa Gueye that can play in a Claude Makelele type of role.
Finally, the attack is very exciting featuring Monaco’s Keita Balde Diao, Torino’s M’Baye Niang and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. The West African side finished first in Group D of the CAF World Cup qualifiers and should be a very tough team to face in this Group H.
Poland’s 🇵🇱 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup. pic.twitter.com/CcRD3Dbo91
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Poland is another very strong side and could potentially be the team that gives Colombia the most trouble in this Group H. The White and Reds finished first in Group E of the UEFA World Cup qualifiers and team captain Robert Lewandowski finished as the top scorer in the qualifiers with 16 goals.
The Central European team does have other very talented players on its squad like Kamil Glik, Łukasz Piszczek, Piotr Zieliński and Arkadiusz Milik. Adam Nawalka’s team will be tough to take down with 14 of 23 players on his roster that play in Europe’s top leagues,