Colombia face Japan, Poland to meet Senegal — FIFA WC


"We have enough alternatives and players who can give options to the team".

Fresh from losing several friendly matches since qualifying for the World Cup, Japan is nervous at the prospect of facing AS Monaco's Falcao and Rodriguez - on loan from Real Madrid at Bayern Munich.

Colombia are sitting at the 16th spot in the latest Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings, while Japan are going into the tournament in a lowly 61st position.

For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki will start while former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki.

Colombia striker Luis Muriel believes his team have the talent to go further in the World Cup in Russian Federation than the side of four years ago who reached the quarter-finals in Brazil.

With Robert Lewandowski-led Poland and Senegal also to come in the group, Japan need a good start.

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"We think Japan will be a very tough team, we have completely forgotten what happened in the last World Cup", insisted Pekerman, who rarely speaks to the press.

But they went on to have an uninspiring World Cup qualifying campaign for Russian Federation. Oddsmakers use these numbers and the memory of Colombia's 4-1 win over Japan in the 2014 World Cup to install Los Cafeteros as favorites in this 2018 contest.

Jose Pekerman's squad are determined not to be lulled into complacency by the thrashing of Japan four years ago and Muriel had clearly been doing his homework on the Blue Samurai.

Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse takes pride in the fact that he has Liverpool forward, Sadio Mane on his team.

The last time Senegal was at the World Cup in 2002, captained by today's coach Aliou Cisse and coached by maverick Bruno Metsu, they stunned the reigning champions France 1-0 in the opening game.

There are several players in these teams who are capable of turning the game on its head, and here is a look at five of the most promising players.