When the draw is made for the group stage of the FIFA World Cup, it is usually rather obvious who the favorites are to move on. We sometimes get what is referred to as a group of death, which is one where all 4 teams have a legitimate shot of making the next phase. We also sometimes get groups where it’s tough to pinpoint a true favorite, which is what we have in Group H. Poland are certainly up there as potential group winners, but the bookies favor Colombia, who made a fantastic run at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The true underdogs of the group would appear to be Japan, and we will find out if they are as poor as their form suggests when they open their tournament with a game against Colombia. For Japan, this tournament may be more about damage control than anything else, while Colombia will be looking to go at least one better than they did 4 years ago. This game should give us a good idea of exactly where these two teams are right now.


Game Information

🏆: #WorldCup
⚽: Colombia Vs Japan (Group Stage, Group H, Matchday 1 of 3)
🏟️: Mordovia Arena, Saransk
⏰: Tuesday, June 19 at 8 AM EST
📺: FOXSports
🎰: Colombia -½, -1, -110 | -141 | U 2 -110


2018 FIFA World Cup: Expert Pick to Win Group H


Why bet on Colombia

Colombia took a lot of people by surprise in Brazil, but that is not likely to happen again here. James Rodriguez made himself a household name by winning the Golden Boot at the last World Cup, scoring in all 5 games that Colombia played in that tournament. He will once again be leading the charge for the South Americans in Russia, but he will have some help in the attack this time around. Radamel Falcao is fully fit this time, and he has returned to the form that he showed before suffering a near catastrophic knee injury. The big weakness for this team could be at the heart of the defense, which is being patrolled by a pair of younger players. Still, when you have a team capable of scoring goals, they may not need to rely too heavily on defense until we get to the later stages of the tournament.

FIFA World Cup Colombia Vs Japan Betting Preview 1


Why bet on Japan

While I would love to come up with several reasons why Japan would be a good bet, it’s hard for me to even think of one. Japan were totally unconvincing in their road to Russia, and really only managed to prevail due to the fact that their qualifying group was about as weak as it gets. A coaching change since qualifying has done little to change the fortunes of this team, although, in fairness, the new coach has only had a handful of games to implement his system. The major problem for this team is a total lack of organization or skill in defense, which is not what you want to be putting out there against a team that has several attacking options. Japan could be in for a miserable time at this tournament.

FIFA World Cup Colombia Vs Japan Betting Preview 2


Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

You would expect Colombia and Poland to move on from this group, but it may come down to goal difference to find the winner. With that in mind, I think Colombia come out and have a real go against a weak Japan team.

Predicted Score: Colombia 3 Japan 0


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