World Cup 2018 – Group H preview
Poland should be the favourite as a Pot 1 team in the draw, but the truth is Colombia is a strong team on paper, and Senegal and Japan aren’t easy to face either.
This squad has some serious talent, but there are too many questions marks to make me feel confident this team can get past the round of 16.
Colombia should be the class of the group, with Poland fighting for second place.
Key Man – Robert Lewandowski
What more can be said, already Poland’s record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying.
Coach – Adam Nawalka
Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession.
Will have them up for it.
The schedule for Senegal is a good one in the sense that they get the group’s strongest team, Colombia, in the last match. They hope that by that then, they already have six points. But it is easier said than done. Failing to beat a talented Poland team in the opener will make the Japan game a must win.
Mane, Koulibaly and company have some serious talent and could make some big noise this summer.
Key Man – Sadio Mane
With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool.
Great season with Liverpool.
Coach – Aliou Cisse
Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country.
Hopes are high back home.
Colombia should be the class of its group, and this team is built well to make a run. Pekerman is one of the better coaches at the cup, and he’ll have his team ready.
Expect this team to make it out of the group stage, and then from there, anything can happen.
This is likely Radamel Falcao’s last World Cup, and he’ll want to make the best of it.
Key Man – James Rodriguez
A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay. Had a fair season at Bayern Munich
Coach – Jose Pekerman
Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led native Argentina to the quarters in 2006.
Japan is in a tough, even group and little chance of moving on. They can, however, get six points from Poland and Senegal if they are sharp, but this team isn’t strong enough to make much noise in the cup. Expect a group stage exit from the Asian squad, but a hot start will give them a chance.
Keep an eye out for Shinji Okazaki he’s a quality player that has the ability to score some marvellous goals, although his best years have passed.
Key Man – Shinji Kagawa
With 89 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players, including Okazaki and defender Yuto Nagamoto.
Coach – Vahid Halilhodzic
Hopes he can replicate the success with Algeria in 2014 when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time.