Colombia vs Japan Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
This match is over.
Final score: Colombia 1-2 Japan
For the match – Poland vs Colombia.
For the match – Japan vs Senegal.
19th June 2018 – 13:00 UK Time
Stadium: Mordovia Arena
Since reaching the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, Colombia have been largely underwhelming. Jose Pekerman guided his side to a fourth-place finish in the South American qualifying group but they only netted 21 goals and were far from inspiring. Their impressive 3-2 victory in Bolivia was arguably their most notable result and fans will demand more from their side in Russia. They used 45 players during qualifying and couldn’t always find the right balance. They didn’t win any of their last four qualifying games – although these, games were crammed in-between domestic commitments for many of their players and they may have acclimatised by the time their Group H campaign kicks off. They came from 2-0 down to beat France in an international friendly shortly before failing to break down Australia just a couple of days later. There are many inconsistencies to iron out.
Japan were also far from convincing during qualifying, with a couple of hiccups along the way. Their 2-1 loss at home to the UAE was hugely concerning but they picked up points when it mattered and secured their place at the tournament with relative ease. They drew 0-0 with Singapore and needed a controversial penalty to secure a much-needed 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia. A change of coach has meant disruption to tactics and formation and their approach to World Cup games remains a bit of a mystery. Friendly results haven’t been great with a 1-1 draw against Mali and a 2-1 loss to Ukraine at the end of March. They have the potential to be one of the tournament’s surprise packages but they must rediscover their rhythm under Akiro Nishino.
Colombia have a number of players who could cause problems for the opposition including James Rodriguez. The left-footed midfielder may have struggled at Real Madrid but he is revered by Colombian fans and clearly enjoys representing his country on the biggest stage. He finished as the top goalscorer at the 2014 tournament and is priced at 66/1 with Bet365 to pick up the Golden Boot for a second successive tournament. Juan Cuadrado will be tasked with providing some much-needed ammunition, whilst Jose Izquierdo impressed in spells during his debut Premier League season at Brighton. Radamel Falcao wasn’t prolific during the qualifying campaign but he is likely to be given the nod to lead the Colombian line.
Akira Nishino was a surprise appointment and he must ensure his squad are prepped and ready to compete in Group H. He watched the side regularly during their qualifying campaign and will know the strengths and weaknesses of his players. Maya Yoshida will be key to keeping things tight at the back and he will be tasked with helping Japan keep clean sheets during the group stage. Shinji Kagawa has struggled to make an impact for his country but could play a bigger part in Russia. Leicester’s Shinji Okazaki is a fan-favourite and should provide Japan’s biggest threat alongside Bundesliga duo Takuma Asano and Yuya Osako.
Colombia vs Japan Predictions
Despite their inconsistent qualifying campaign, Colombia are expected to pick up three points in their opening Group H fixture.
Colombia are priced at 4/5 with Bet365 and the 2014 quarter-finalists are expected to assert their dominance in this fixture. They convincingly won their first fixture in Brazil with a 3-0 success over Greece. They also beat the UAE during the opening match of the 1990 World Cup.
Japan may struggle under their new coach and they may be unable to prevent Colombia easing to victory here. Colombia/Colombia on the HT/FT market is available at 28/17 with 10 Bet and that looks a great price.
James Rodriguez will want to get off to a good start as he aims to replicate his 2014 success and he should be backed at 2/1 with 888Sport to find the net during the 90 minutes.
Colombia are far from watertight and David Ospina is likely to start every single World Cup match. The goalkeeper comes off the back of a frustrating season at the Emirates and is capable of dropping the occasional clanger. Japan should get plenty of chances in this game. Both Teams to Score? Yes is priced at 11/10 with Betfred and offers brilliant value. Likewise, Over 2.5 Goals is available at 5/4 with Bwin and is another highly likely outcome.
Opening group games are often slow-starters and the second half is likely to be significantly more entertaining than the preceding 45 minutes. 10Bet are offering 21/20 on Highest Scoring Half – Second Half.
- 2018 will be Colombia’s seventh World Cup appearance
- They won four of their five games at the 2014 tournament, which helped them reach the quarter-finals
Colombia to be eliminated in the quarter-finals is 15/4 with 888Sport
- Prior to 2014, they had never won more than a single game in this competition
- They only netted once at the 1998 World Cup
- Their first appearance at the tournament was in 1962
- Japan did not qualify for the World Cup until 1998
- They failed to make it out of the group in 2014
- Japan have never made it beyond the round of 16
- Shinji Okazaki has netted a goal at each of the last two World Cups (2010 and 2014)
Colombia: Radamel Falcao (captain), David Ospina, Cristián Zapata, Óscar Murillo,Santiago Arias, Wílmar Barrios, Carlos Sánchez, Carlos Bacca, Abel Aguilar, James Rodríguez, Juan Cuadrado, Camilo Vargas, Yerry Mina, Luis Muriel, Mateus Uribe, Jefferson Lerma, Johan Mojica, Frank Fabra, Miguel Borja, Juan Fernando Quintero, José Izquierdo, José Fernando Cuadrado, Dávinson Sánchez.
Japan: Makoto Hasebe (captain), Eiji Kawashima, Naomichi Ueda, Gen Shoji, Keisuke Honda, Yuto Nagatomo, Wataru Endo, Gaku Shibasaki, Genki Haraguchi, Shinji Okazaki, Shinji Kagawa, Takashi Usami, Masaaki Higashiguchi, Yoshinori Mutō, Takashi Inui, Yuya Osako, Hotaru Yamaguchi, Ryota Oshima, Hiroki Sakai, Tomoaki Makino, Gōtoku Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Kosuke Nakamura.
13:00 – Saransk Stadium