2018 World Cup Odds & Expert Prediction: Colombia vs. Japan.

2018 World Cup Odds & Expert Prediction: Colombia vs. Japan

Written by on June 18, 2018

The 2018 World Cup Betting action from Russia on Tuesday gets underway with a Group H matchup between Colombia and Japan, with the Colombians as solid betting favorites and widely expected to be one of the two clubs from the group to advance to the knockout round.MyBookie Sportsbook has all the information you need to keep up-to-date on all things World Cup. It’s going to be a lucrative period, from World Cup prop bets to moneyline wagers and point spreads, there’s plenty of ways to keep it exciting.

Colombia vs. Japan 2018 World Cup Odds & Expert Prediction

  • When: Tuesday, 8 AM ET
  • Where: Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia
  • TV/Stream: Fox Sports 1 / Fox Sports Go
  • 2018 World Cup Odds: Colombia -145 / Japan +450 / Draw +250 (Total at 2.5 goals)

Why Bet on Colombia?

  • Confederation: CONMEBOL
  • Head coach: José Pékerman
  • Captain: Radamel Falcao
  • FIFA Ranking: 16
After a promising 3rd place in the 2016 Copa America, Colombia barely squeaked into the 2018 World Cup after struggling through a tough CONMEBOL qualification slate. In qualifying, Colombia lost both of their games against Argentina and couldn’t manage any wins against Brazil, Uruguay or Chile. They did get a win over then-unbeaten Ecuador and a tie in Lima on the final matchday against Peru, which earned them automatic qualification.The Andean nation is ranked 16th to Japan’s 61st, and history is on their side as well because beat the “Blue Samurais” 4-1 in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup. The Golden Boot winner of that tournament was Colombian star James Rodriguez, who remains with the team. That club reached the quarterfinals, best in the country’s history.Rodriguez, who plays for Bayern Munich, arrives in Russia in top shape; he’s one of the tournament’s favorites to score the most goals. Rodriguez posted seven goals and 11 assists in just 23 league matches this season, nearly on par with his 13 and 13 in 29 on La Liga debut at Real. Fellow star Radamel Falcao also has high expectations for this tournament after missing the last World Cup through injury. Colombia’s all-time leading marksman is fresh from two superb seasons for Monaco, for whom he has hit 50 goals for in 75 league appearances overall.Colombia is coached by José Pékerman. He also was in charge four years ago and has thrice behind named the South American Coach of the Year.“We are talented and we have a great team, but we must be clever at the World Cup. We need to understand how to handle every game and have the desire to win. To put on this shirt is a privilege and a blessing,” Colombia midfielder Abel Aguilar said recently.

Projected Line-Up

  • 1-D. Ospina
  • 4-S. Arias
  • 18-F. Fabra
  • 13-Y. Mina
  • 23-D. Sánchez
  • 6-C. Sánchez
  • 11-Juan Cuadrado
  • 10-J. Rodríguez
  • 15-M. Uribe
  • 16-J. Lerma
  • 9-R. Falcao

Why Bet on Japan?

  • Confederation: AFC
  • Head coach: Akira Nishino
  • Captain: Makoto Hasebe
  • FIFA Ranking: 61
Japan hired head coach Akira Nishino in April 71 days out before their opening match. It’s Nishino’s first time taking charge of the senior team, after stints at the helm of the U-20 and U-23 sides — the latter role seeing him lead his nation at the Olympic Football Tournament Atlanta 1996.The 63-year-old former Japan international represented his country 12 times but is best known in his homeland for a successful period in charge of Gamba Osaka, from 2002-2011. That included a run to the FIFA Club World Cup semi-finals in 2008, which ended with a 5-3 defeat to a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Manchester United.The departed Vahid Halilhodzic led Japan to the global finals after finishing unbeaten atop Asian second round qualifying Group E — without conceding a goal — before topping Group B in the third round of the continent’s qualifying competition.This is an experienced team. Eiji Kawashima, Keisuke Honda, Yuto Nagatomo, Shinji Okazaki and captain Makoto Hasebe all played in 2010 and 2014 and it will be up to them to give the team the much-needed lift behind the scenes after a difficult lead-in to the finals.Japan comes in as huge underdog at the 2018 World Cup Odds against Colombia.Honda remains the biggest star in Japanese football. The 31-year-old is the only Japanese player to have scored in multiple World Cups, while he hit seven goals in Russia 2018 qualifying and always seems to produce on the big stage. The former AC Milan man enters the tournament fresh from three goals in his last four appearances for Pachuca. He has reclaimed some form with Pachuca in Mexico after a disappointing three-and-a-half season spell with AC Milan.The defense is suspect. During the run-up to the World Cup, Japan coughed up six goals in three June matches against Ghana, Switzerland, and Paraguay. Thrice winless and twice Round of 16 combatants, the Samurai Blue are sound but need to find goals if they want to return to the knockout rounds.Maya Yoshida played all three games for Japan at Brazil 2014. The experienced Southampton defender is known for his attacking flair. Comfortable on the ball, Yoshida has been a reassuring presence in the Japan back-line for many years now. In addition to his defensive qualities, Yoshida has forged a reputation for scoring crucial goals, netting the only score against a resilient Korea to save Japan in a qualifying match for Brazil 2014. Since debuting in 2010, Yoshida has tallied 10 goals in 80 international appearances.

Projected Line-Up

  • 12-M. Higashiguchi
  • 21-G. Sakai
  • 6-W. Endo
  • 3-G. Shōji
  • 2-N. Ueda
  • 14-T. Inui
  • 10-S. Kagawa
  • 16-H. Yamaguchi
  • 7-G. Shibasaki
  • 9-S. Okazaki
  • 13-Y. Muto

Expert Score Prediction

Colombia 1 – Japan 1

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