2018 World Cup Group H Betting Preview: Senegal vs Colombia.

2018 World Cup Group H Betting Preview: Senegal vs Colombia

Written by Jordan Walters on Wednesday,June 27, 2018 9:50, EDT

Senegal is tied for first in Group H with Japan on four points, while Colombia is third with three. All Senegal needs against Colombia is a draw to advance, but the Colombians are favored on the latest soccer odds and a win would be enough to get them to the knockout round.

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Senegal vs Colombia 2018 World Cup Group H Betting Preview

  • When: Thursday, 10 AM ET
  • Where: Samara Arena, Samara, Russia
  • TV/Stream: Fox/Fox Sports Go
  • 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: Colombia +117 / Senegal +295 / Draw +245 (Total 2.5)

Why Bet on Senegal?

  • Confederation: CAF
  • Head coach: Aliou Cissé
  • Captain: Sadio Mané
  • FIFA Ranking: 27
  • World Cup Appearances: 2

Again, Senegal only needs a point to advance. The winner of this match, should there be one, is guaranteed a place in the last 16, while a draw will be enough for each if Japan loses to Poland.

Senegal won its tournament opener 2-1 over Poland and then tied Japan 2-2. Superstar Sadio Mane, who had a chance in the second minute but failed to control a through ball, scored his first World Cup goal and his 15th for Senegal in the 11th minute. Senegal would then take a 2-1 lead over Japan when Moussa Wague fired Sabaly’s low cross high into the net from a tight angle (71). But the Japanese quickly struck back for the draw.

Senegal remains unbeaten against Japan in all four meetings (W2 D2 L0). Senegal manager Aliou Cisse did make one alteration despite defeating Poland 2-1 in their opening game, with Mame Diouf replaced by Stoke teammate Badou Ndiaye in a 4-3-3.

Senegal hasn’t lost any of the 15 international matches that Sadio Mané has scored in for them (W9 D6 L0). Mane’s 15 goals for Senegal have come against 14 different teams (only scored twice against Burundi). In fact, Japan is the first non-African side that Senegal forward has scored against for his national team. Senegal’s Wagué (19y 263d) became only the second teenager to score at the 2018 World Cup, after France’s Kylian Mbappé.

Cisse criticized his team for letting Japan equalize twice and said he expected more from central defenders Kalidou Koulibaly and Salif Sane: “Despite the fact we were leading twice, what is annoying for me is the two goals we conceded. All I know is at this level of competition with the players we have today, who are world-class, these were avoidable goals. That is crystal clear.

“The best team on the pitch was Japan, we have to admit,” said Cisse, who as captain led Senegal to the quarter-finals in 2002. “We were getting the ball and then we were losing it… I thought there were a lot of technical errors, too many.”

Senegal has neither won nor lost a FIFA World Cup match by more than one goal. Senegal and Colombia have faced each other just once before, in a friendly in May 2014, with Colombia taking a 2-0 lead into half-time, only to concede two goals in the second half.

Possible Line-Up

  • 16-K. N’Diaye
  • 3-K. Koulibaly
  • 6-S. Sané
  • 12-Y. Sabaly
  • 22-M. Wagué
  • 13-A. N’Diaye
  • 5-I. Gueye
  • 9-M. Diouf
  • 19-M. Niang
  • 10-S. Mané
  • 18-I. Sarr

Why Bet on Colombia?

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

Colombia will qualify for the knockout round with victory over Senegal. Colombia can also qualify with a draw if Japan loses to Poland because they have a better goal difference.

The Colombians opened the tournament with a 2-1 upset loss to Japan but then routed Poland 3-0. Yerry Mina’s first-half goal (40) sent Colombia on their way. A first World Cup goal for Radamel Falcao (70) and Juan Cuadrado’s third (75) put the gloss on a scintillating performance as Colombia boosted their chances of reaching the knockout stage. Colombia lost Abel Aguilar to injury but it didn’t knock them off their stride. Coach Jose Pekerman’s men had a rough start but they never truly suffered and, except for the first 10 minutes, they always had the game under control.

Colombia comes in as the 2018 World Cup Betting favorite against Senegal.

Pekerman named James Rodriguez in a reshuffled starting lineup. The Golden Boot winner at the finals in Brazil four years ago, Rodriguez came off the bench in Colombia’s 2-1 opening loss to Japan. Aguilar also came into the side with Carlos Sanchez suspended following his third-minute red card against Japan. Finally, midfielder Wilmar Barrios replaced Jose Izquierdo.

Rodriguez has been involved in 10 of Colombia’s last 14 World Cup goals, with six goals and four assists. Cuadrado has been involved in six goals in seven World Cup appearances for Colombia (2 goals, 4 assists). He scored his second World Cup goal today, exactly four years after netting his first (24th June 2014 vs Japan). Falcao scored his 30th goal for Colombia and first at a World Cup. He’s Colombia’s all-time highest goalscorer.

Pekerman said his team still needed to get better: “We’re not going to go crazy, mentally we’re in a good place but we need to continue to improve because we are ambitious and we want to continue in this World Cup as we hoped. We are going to go forward with faith.”

Colombia has won three of their last five World Cup meetings with European sides (W3 D0 L2), having won none of their first five against UEFA nations (W0 D2 L3). Colombia has never lost to African opposition in normal time at the FIFA World Cup.

They did go out of the tournament in 1990 at the hands of Cameroon, but extra time was required on that occasion. Their other encounters with African sides have been successful: Los Cafeteros defeated Tunisia 1-0 in 1998 and accounted for Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 in 2014.

Possible 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

Expert Final Score Prediction

Colombia 2 – Senegal 1