Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Group H: Colombia v Japan - soccer world cup Preview

Group H: Colombia v Japan - soccer world cup Preview

Two players compete for ball

Colombia and Japan will square off on Tuesday afternoon in what promises to be a cracking contest. 

We kick-off Group H action with an interesting clash as Colombia face Japan at the Mordovia Arena – which is suspicious in its resemblance of the FNB Stadium in Soweto – in the western city of Saransk. Interestingly, these two teams competed in Group C in Brazil four years ago, with Colombia advancing as the group winners while the Asians finished last. 

Of course, the South Americans come into this tie as favourites and will look to build on their quarter-final elimination in 2014. Japan, meanwhile, will want to avenge the 4-1 hammering they received at the hands of the Colombians at the same stage of 2014’s finals.

Colombia vs Japan | Tuesday 19 June | Mordovia Arena (14:00)

To Win (90 Min)
Colombia 13/20
Draw 26/10
Japan 9/2

Bet Now on Soccer with Hollywoodbets!

*Please note that this preview was compiled before pre-tournament friendlies were played.

Colombia make their way to the 2018 edition of the tournament courtesy of a fourth-place finish in the notoriously difficult CONMEBOL qualifying section. They’re quite a tough team to nail down in terms of a preview, they flit between blowing ominously hot in one match only to drop well below freezing in the next.

As much has been evident through their qualifying campaign and subsequent friendlies. A win away against France as well as draws against Spain and Brazil were in-between losses against South Korea and Paraguay. 

Still, their squad is loaded with plenty of experience and they’ll fancy their chances of victory. AS Monaco centre-forward Radamel Falcao will captain a side which includes top class European talent such as James Rodriguez, Carlos Bacca, David Ospina, Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina and Juan Cuadrado. 

You’d expect plenty of goals from this side, however, their qualification campaign saw them find the back of the net just 21 times in 18 games. Something to remember before having a bet on Jose Pekerman’s charges.

The Japanese qualified for the soccer world cup after finishing a single point ahead of both Saudi Arabia and Australia in Group B of the third round of Asian qualifying. The lead up to the tournament hasn’t been ideal for the Japanese who parted ways with manager, Vahid Halilhodzic, in April this year. 

Despite leading the side to finals of qualification, the Bosnian was deemed surplus to requirements by the Japanese FA following issues with players as well as poor results in a string of friendly outings. He was later replaced by Akira Nishino who was at the helm when the Asian nation shocked Brazil with a 1-0 win in the Atlanta ‘96 Olympic Games. 

Looking ahead, the Japanese will need to rely on a solid defensive showing if they are to progress in this group. They were outstanding in qualifying, conceding just seven goals in 18 matches, albeit against much weaker opposition than they’ll face in Group H. A win in their opening game is an absolute must. A heavy defeat could set the tone for the rest of their tournament. 

Verdict: Colombia Win (13/20)
I’d love to back one of the exotic markets, but I simply have to play it safe. Take the Colombians to claim victory here at 13/20, definitely a bet you can use to fatten up some of your multiples. 

                                                    Twitter - HollywoodbetsInstagram - HollywoodbetsFacebook - Hollywoodbets

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

Register now and start betting with Hollywoodbets today!