2018 World Cup, Group H

Dates – 19-28 June 2018

Venues – Saransk, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Volgograd, Samara

West African aspect Senegal will glimpse to revive reminiscences of their breathtaking World Cup debut in 2002 when they battle for ascendancy in a large open up Group H at Russia 2018. Colombia, Poland and Japan full a sturdy foursome which promises to be one of the most unpredictable at this year’s tournament.

Senegal shocked the world sixteen decades back when they initially beat reigning champions France in their opening game before obtaining as far as the quarterfinals – a feat no other African team has bettered before or given that. The ‘Teranga Lions’ are led by manager Aliou Cisse – a veteran of that 2002 team – and boast an admirable array of expertise, nevertheless Liverpool ahead Sadio Mane is the clear celebrity of their team.

Poland is not the initially identify that arrives at mind when one thinks of Europe’s strongest football nations, but the ‘White Eagles’ arrive into Russia 2018 positioned in the best 10 of FIFA’s world position and they appreciated a good qualification campaign.

Not only did they best their team forward of Denmark, but they also produced the co-primary scorer in the world-large level of competition: Robert Lewandowski’s sixteen goals ended up matched only by Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and UAE’s Ahmed Khalil. Adam Nawalka’s aspect is perfectly-organised, rough-to-beat and boasts loads of practical experience.

The same can be explained of South American heavyweights Colombia. They finished fourth in the notoriously complicated CONMEBOL qualification zone and have saved alongside one another the core of the team which reached the previous 8 of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Their star in that tournament was attacker James Rodriguez – the 26-year-old has not long gone on to just take the world by storm, as was envisioned soon after his incredible displaying four decades back and subsequent transfer to Real Madrid (he’s now on the books of Bayern Munich), but he stays a vital cog in Jose Pekerman’s aspect.

Japan finished best in their AFC qualification team and arrive into Russia 2018 searching to improve on their team phase exit from four decades back. Managed by Akira Nishino, the ‘Samurai Blue’ has a workmanlike team dotted with the occasional standout expertise, these types of as Leicester City’s Shinji Okazaki, Borussia Dortmund playmaker Shinji Kagawa and Eintracht Frankfurt defensive midfielder Makoto Hasebe, who also serves as the national side’s captain.

Group H fixtures (all times CAT)

19 June 2018, 14h00 – Colombia v Japan – Mordovia Arena, Saransk

19 June 2018, 17h00 – Poland v Senegal – Otkritie Arena, Moscow

24 June 2018, 17h00 – Japan v Senegal – Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

24 June 2018, 20h00 – Poland v Colombia – Kazan Arena, Kazan

28 June 2018, 16h00 – Japan v Poland – Volgograd Arena, Volgograd

28 June 2018, 16h00 – Senegal v Colombia – Cosmos Arena, Samara

Group H head-to-heads (as for each FIFA stats database, in reference to ‘home’ team)

Colombia v Japan – P3 W2 D1 L0 GF5 GA1

Poland v Senegal – No preceding matches

Japan v Senegal – P3 W0 D1 L2 GF2 GA5

Poland v Colombia – P5 W2 D0 L3 GF8 GA7

Japan v Poland – P2 W2 D0 L0 GF7 GA0

Senegal v Colombia – P1 W0 D1 L0 GF2 GA2