FIFA World Cup – Group H – Matchday 1 of 3 – Colombia v Japan – Preview & Betting Tips

The following is a match centre with betting tips for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group H fixture between Colombia and Japan. The game kicks off on the 19th of June at 10:00 PM AEST. The fixture will be broadcast live on SBS.

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Colombia

Colombia

  • FIFA World Rank: 16
  • Elo Rating: 9
  • Qualifying: Fourth place in the CONMEBOL qualifiers with a 7-6-5 record.

Squad:

  • Coach: José Pékerman (Argentina)
  • Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (Once Caldas)
  • Defenders: Cristian Zapata (Milan), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham), Santiago Arias (PSV), Oscar Murillo (Pachuca), Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors), Johan Mojica (Girona), Yerry Mina (Barcelona)
  • Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (Espanyol), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Abel Aguilar (Deportivo Cali), Mateus Uribe (America), Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate), Juan Guillermo Cu
  • Forwards: Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Miguel Borja (Palmeiras), Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Luis Muriel (Sevilla)

Recent results:

  • Colombia 0 – 0 Egypt
    01/06/2018
    Friendly, played in Italy
  • Australia 0 – 0 Colombia
    27/03/2018
    Friendly, played in England
  • France 2 – 3 Colombia
    23/03/2018
    Friendly, played in France
  • China 0 – 4 Colombia
    14/11/2017
    Friendly, played in China
  • South Korea 2 – 1 Colombia
    10/11/2017
    Friendly, played in Korea Republic
  • Peru 1 – 1 Colombia
    10/10/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Peru
  • Colombia 1 – 2 Paraguay
    05/10/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Colombia
  • Colombia 1 – 1 Brazil
    05/09/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Colombia
  • Venezuela 0 – 0 Colombia
    31/08/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Venezuela
  • Cameroon 0 – 4 Colombia
    13/06/2017
    Friendly, played in Spain
  • Spain 2 – 2 Colombia
    07/06/2017
    Friendly, played in Spain
  • Ecuador 0 – 2 Colombia
    28/03/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Ecuador

Statistics: (last five years):

  • H2H Record: 28-16-12
  • O/U record
    • O/U 0.5 record: 48-8
    • O/U 1.5 record: 37-19
    • O/U 2.5 record: 25-31
    • O/U 3.5 record: 12-44
    • O/U 4.5 record: 6-50
    • O/U 5.5 record: 2-54
  • Wins
    • Total wins: 28
    • Won by 1 goal: 14
    • Won by 2 goals: 7
    • Won by 3 goals: 4
    • Won by 4 goals: 2
    • Won by 5 goals: 0
    • Won by 5+ goals: 1
    • Won to nil 20
  • Losses
    • Total losses: 12
    • Lost by 1 goal: 8
    • Lost by 2 goals: 2
    • Lost by 3 goals: 2
    • Lost by 4 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5+ goals: 0
    • Lost to nil 7
  • Clean Sheets and BTTS
    • Total Games: 56
    • Clean Sheets: 28
    • Held Scoreless: 15
    • Both Teams Scored: 21
Japan

Japan

  • FIFA World Rank: 61
  • Elo Rating: 46
  • Qualifying: Winner of Group B with a 6-2-2 record in the AFC Third Round.

Squad:

  • Coach: Akira Nishino
  • Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol)
  • Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers)
  • Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryot
  • Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz)

Recent results:

  • Japan 4 – 2 Paraguay
    12/06/2018
    Friendly, played in Austria
  • Switzerland 2 – 0 Japan
    08/06/2018
    Friendly, played in Switzerland
  • Japan 0 – 2 Ghana
    30/05/2018
    Friendly, played in Japan
  • Ukraine 2 – 1 Japan
    27/03/2018
    Friendly, played in Belgium
  • Japan 1 – 1 Mali
    23/03/2018
    Friendly, played in Belgium
  • Japan 1 – 4 South Korea
    16/12/2017
    EAFF Championship, played in Japan
  • Japan 2 – 1 China
    12/12/2017
    EAFF Championship, played in Japan
  • Japan 1 – 0 Korea DPR
    09/12/2017
    EAFF Championship, played in Japan
  • Belgium 1 – 0 Japan
    14/11/2017
    Friendly, played in Belgium
  • Japan 1 – 3 Brazil
    10/11/2017
    Friendly, played in France
  • Japan 3 – 3 Haiti
    10/10/2017
    Friendly, played in Japan
  • Japan 2 – 1 New Zealand
    06/10/2017
    Friendly, played in Japan

Statistics: (last five years):

  • H2H Record: 37-14-19
  • O/U record
    • O/U 0.5 record: 68-2
    • O/U 1.5 record: 61-9
    • O/U 2.5 record: 43-27
    • O/U 3.5 record: 27-43
    • O/U 4.5 record: 17-53
    • O/U 5.5 record: 11-59
  • Wins
    • Total wins: 37
    • Won by 1 goal: 13
    • Won by 2 goals: 10
    • Won by 3 goals: 4
    • Won by 4 goals: 5
    • Won by 5 goals: 3
    • Won by 5+ goals: 2
    • Won to nil 22
  • Losses
    • Total losses: 19
    • Lost by 1 goal: 10
    • Lost by 2 goals: 6
    • Lost by 3 goals: 2
    • Lost by 4 goals: 1
    • Lost by 5 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5+ goals: 0
    • Lost to nil 8
  • Clean Sheets and BTTS
    • Total Games: 70
    • Clean Sheets: 24
    • Held Scoreless: 10
    • Both Teams Scored: 38


Commentary

Despite being lower ranked in the world than Poland, most pundits expect Colombia to top Group H. They have good continuity under head coach José Pékerman, who has been at the helm since 2012, and the squad features James Rodríguez, who won the Golden Boot award with 6 goals and 2 assists at the 2014 World Cup – a tournament in which Colombia made the quarter-finals. Colombia also feature Radamel Falcao, who is fit after missing the last World Cup with injury. After upsetting France 3-2 in March they’ve had slightly underwhelming results in friendlies, however, drawing both Australia and Egypt 0-0. Also of some concern is the Colombia lost 2-1 to South Korea in November last year.

The same pundits who expect Colombia to top the group also expect Japan to finish dead last. While the squad has a lot of World Cup experience, including five players who featured in both the 2010 and 2014 tournaments, the squad is not considered to be as strong as the Japanese sides from previous World Cups. Another issue is coach Akira Nishino only took over in April after Vahid Halilhodžić was controversially sacked following qualifying. Nishino has had only three friendlies before the tournament to mold the team to his liking and two of those games ended in 2-0 defeats.

Betting

bet365 odds (subject to change):

Compare the latest bookmaker odds for Colombia vs. Japan

On paper Colombia should be too strong, but their recent cooling of form is a slight concern. Japan’s form is more alarming, however, especially given they’ve only managed one clean sheet in their last twelve games. Their defensive deficiencies will likely be their undoing.

Betting tip: back Colombia in the head-to-head at 1.70 (Unibet)

Notes

 

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