Will Japan’s experience be enough to spring a World Cup upset?
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Four years ago Colombia, and in particular James Rodriguez, took the world by storm in Brazil. They strolled through the group stages of the 2014 World Cup and then beat fellow South Americans Uruguay in the last 16. The quarter finals saw their run come to an end against host nation Brazil, but it was an excellent showing from the side.
It earned James Rodriguez a move to Real Madrid, and whilst he has subsequently swapped the Bernabeu for the Allianz Arena, he will still look back on that summer fondly. He finished the tournament as top scorer and scored one of the best goals of the tournament with his volley against Uruguay. He scored another great goal against Japan too, weaving through the defence to finish their opponents off in a game that ended 4-1. They will be hoping for more of the same here.
Colombia come into the 2018 instalment on the back of just one warm up friendly, a game that ended goalless at the start of June. They are unbeaten in four games now, but it’s not an overwhelmingly positive way to prepare for the World Cup.
Japan, meanwhile, have been in action more than that. They beat Paraguay in their final warm up game on Tuesday, but prior to that had lost 2-0 against both Switzerland and Ghana. They will be happy to have ended on a positive note, but those performances earlier in the month will be worrying for them.
In fact, Japan have lost four of their last six games, and they haven’t had much success against the better nations in the world either. They have only won one game against a team who are in the 2018 World Cup since they beat Australia almost a year ago, and since then have lost to Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Belgium, South Korea, and Switzerland.
Colombia fans will be expecting a win from this. All eyes will turn towards James Rodriguez after his heroics four years ago, and the fact that he was their top scorer in qualifying is a promising sign too. He scored six goals for Colombia on the road to Russia, and with a goal against Japan already to his name we think he’s a great choice to find the net here.
As far as the overall result goes, we’re backing Colombia to Win.
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