With the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia now just a couple of days away, it’s time to get serious about making picks and choosing a winner. Prior to the start of the tournament, it can feel like a bit of a monumental task to try and narrow the field of 32 down into a single winner. Sure, it would be easy to just pick one of the favorites and hope for the best, but why do that when you can take time to look at the draw and take in all the potential scenarios. If that is the route that you choose to go, then you need to start things out by breaking down all 8 of the groups in the opening round. Since the draw has been made all the way to final, we can get a sense of the path that each team will need to take to win the World Cup, which makes things a little easier to predict. We have already previewed 7 of the 8 groups, so now it’s on to Group H, which features Colombia, Poland, Senegal, and Japan. It would appear to be a rather obvious top two here, but stranger things have happened.
— James Rodríguez (@jamesdrodriguez) June 2, 2018
Predicted Group H Winners – Colombia
Colombia proved to be one of the best teams to watch 4 years ago when they took Brazil by storm at the 2014 World Cup. They made it all the way to the quarter-finals in that tournament, and also had the Golden Boot winner in James Rodriguez. Given that performance, expectations are higher for Colombia this time around, especially when you consider that they will have a healthy Radamel Falcao back in the fold. He should take some of the scoring pressure off James and will give Colombians one of the best 1-2 attacking punches in the tournament. It’s going to be what this team can deliver in the middle of the park that may well determine their fate later on, but I like them to win Group H.
Who Gets the Other Qualifying Spot in Group H – Poland
Poland was at the peak of their powers in the 70’s and 80’s, and while this group of players may not be as strong as the squads from earlier decades, it can be argued that this is the best crop of talent that Poland has had in a while. They made qualification look easy, and they once again relied very heavily on the scoring exploits of Robert Lewandowski up front. If Poland is to make a deep run, he is going to need to be sharp in front of goal. Moving on to the knockout phase should not be a problem for the Poles.
Who Misses Out in Group H – Senegal and Japan
The biggest question in this group is about which of the two remaining teams will get third. My money is on Senegal here, as Japan is coming into this tournament on a very low note. They struggled to qualify in what was not a difficult group, and have since fired the coach that got them to Russia. Senegal has a little more on the attacking front, with Sadio Mane coming in off a very good season with Liverpool. Senegal takes 3rd here.
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