Expert 2018 World Cup Betting Preview: Poland v Colombia (Group H).

Expert 2018 World Cup Betting Preview: Poland v Colombia (Group H)

Jordan Walters : Friday,June 22, 2018 12:52, EDT

The two favorites entering the World Cup to advance from Group H were Poland and Colombia. However, both were upset in the first matches and if one side loses this match it could be eliminated depending on what happens earlier in Japan-Senegal. The Colombians are the 2018 World Cup Betting at Mybookie Sportsbook.

Poland v Colombia Expert 2018 World Cup Betting Preview

  • When: Sunday, 2 PM ET
  • Where: Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia
  • TV / Live Stream: Fox / Fox Sports Go
  • 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: Colombia +119 / Poland +225 / Draw +225 (Total at 2.5 goals)

Why Bet on Colombia?

  • Confederation: CONMEBOL
  • Head coach: José Pékerman
  • Captain: Radamel Falcao
  • FIFA Ranking: 16
  • World Cup Appearances: 6

Colombia will be eliminated if they lose and Japan-Senegal is a draw.

Just about everything that could go wrong for Colombia did in its 2-1 loss to Japan. First off, superstar James Rodriguez didn’t start due to injury and Carlos Sanchez was sent off with a red card, leaving Colombia stuck playing much of the match with 10 men.

Sanchez’s red card in the third minute was the second fastest dismissal in World Cup history. Jose Alberto Batista of Uruguay, who was sent off in the first minute against Scotland in 1986 remains the fastest. The first red of the 2018 World Cup came in the 15th match — the longest since 1982 when Czechoslovakia’s Ladislav Vizek was shown the red card in the 32nd match of the tournament against France. Clearly, the early – and correct — red card had a major impact on the way the game unfolded. Things may well have turned out very differently in a contest of 11 against 11.

Juan Quintero, who started for Rodriguez, became the first player to score in two different World Cup tournaments for Colombia (2014 and 2018). After missing out on the entire South American qualifying campaign, Quintero sealed a last-gasp spot in his country’s 23-man squad after impressing with Argentinian heavyweights River Plate, the club he joined on loan from Porto in January.

Rodriguez, who led the 2014 World Cup with six goals, did eventually enter as a substitute and surely will start here with the team desperate. Colombia rarely threatened in the second half as Japan took control. Coach Jose Pekerman defended his strategy of not starting Rodriguez because of muscle pain.

“The players that I subbed onto the pitch shows that I was not expecting a defensive style of play… I wanted to play along with the sides so that they could pass balls forward so that we could cause Japan more problems,” said Pekerman. “We lost because we were worn down, we were tired and even if I tried subbing on a couple of fresh players it was very hard for us to recover possession and Japan had its opportunities.

Fellow star Radamel Falcao, the captain, didn’t play well after missing the 2014 World Cup due to injury. Falcao is a front-to-goal striker, a great player when attacking the ball in front of him. Twice in the first half, he so nearly made his mark, stretching to reach balls played behind the Japan defense. Other than that, though, Falcao does not offer much. His link play is mediocre, and when Colombia was being pressed back into their own half by Japan in the last 45 minutes, he was of little use.

None of Colombia’s 19 games at the World Cup have ended goalless. The only nations that have played more games in the competition without recording a nil-nil are USA (33) and Austria (29).

Projected Line-Up

  • 1-D. Ospina
  • 3-O. Murillo
  • 4-S. Arias
  • 17-J. Mojica
  • 23-D. Sánchez
  • 5-W Barrios
  • 10-J. Rodríguez
  • 20-J. Quintero
  • 16-J. Lerma
  • 9-R. Falcao
  • 21-J. Izquierdo

Why Bet on Poland?

  • Confederation: UEFA
  • Head coach: Adam Nawałka
  • Captain: Robert Lewandowski
  • FIFA Ranking: 8
  • World Cup Appearances: 8

Poland will be eliminated if they lose and Japan-Senegal is a draw.

The Poles lost 2-1 to Senegal in the first round thanks to an own goal in the 37th minute and a poor pass from Grzegorz Krychowiak that led to Senegal’s second goal and a 2-0 lead in the 60th minute. Krychowiak pulled a goal back for Poland with a powerful header four minutes from time, but Senegal held on for victory.

Poland coach Adam Nawalka said it was “kind of curious” how M’Baye Niang reentered the pitch to score the decisive goal. It was a strange incident. Krychowiak looped a high-risk 50-yard back pass straight into the path of Niang, who was then presented with an open goal after keeper Wojciech Szczesny rushed outside his box but failed to reach the ball. The coach said the players had been surprised that Niang was allowed to re-enter the fray after having treatment and that his players had not been aware he had slipped back on.

Poland comes in as slight 2018 World Cup Betting underdog against Colombia.

It was a particularly disappointing display for the Poles after an impressive qualifying campaign that helped lift Poland to eighth in the world rankings and brought them to their first World Cup for 12 years with high hopes. Dawid Kownacki came on in the second half and made a good impression. Many now expect to see him in starting XI for Colombia.

Senegal was much the better side, looking controlled in midfield and more dynamic in attack, and that didn’t leave superstar Robert Lewandowski happy: “We played with no tempo or pace, very little communication. We were playing it side to side with no urgency or looking to move the ball forward. This type of play is not effective.”

Poland has failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986. Poland has lost seven of their last nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses. Poland is the first nation to make two errors leading to a goal in a single World Cup match so far in 2018.

Hubert Małowiejski, the assistant coach, said this about Colombia: “We are in the same situation. Colombia was considered favorites in our group, but the first game was not good for them. But, let’s not forget they played almost the whole game with 10 men. … We know how good James (Rodriguez) is, but we treat Colombia as a whole team, even if they have such a great player. The key point is not to let him play brilliantly, it is one of the most important tasks for our team.”

Projected Line-Up

  • 1-W. Szczęsny
  • 2-M. Pazdan
  • 20-Ł. Piszczek
  • 4-T. Cionek
  • 16-J. Błaszczykowski
  • 13-M. Rybus
  • 10-G. Krychowiak
  • 19-P. Zieliński
  • 11-K. Grosicki
  • 9-R. Lewandowski
  • 7-A. Milik

Expert Score Prediction

Colombia 2 – Poland 1