Group H |Senegal vs Columbia – Thursday 28th June
Colombia and Senegal, both will be hoping to qualify for the knock out stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Senegal will just need to avoid losing to qualify while a draw won’t be enough for the Colombians.
Columbia who had started their campaign with a defeat to Japan have impressively bounced back from opening day dismay by winning the last fixture against Poland by 3-0 scoreline and will try and replicate their performance this time around also in the Senegal vs Columbia clash.
Senegal are on four points after two matches while Colombia are on three. The other match in Group H sees the Asian team Japan face the already eliminated Poland led by Lewandowski.
Columbia were one of the surprise packages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They were welcomed home to a hero’s welcome as they managed to go on one of the most memorable runs, only to be beaten by the Brazilian team in the quarters. This was a great sign for the national team as they didn’t qualify for the previous three tournaments.
The South American team will be hoping to win the Senegal vs Columbia match in what seems to be a ‘do or die’ match for them
Despite winning comfortably Columbia coach has hinted that he could be making a number of changes for the Senegal vs Columbia clash.
Key Players for Senegal vs Columbia match :
James Rodríguez – Star Player
James Rodríguez will be hoping to retain the Golden Boot that he won 4 years ago. His performances in the 2014 FIFA World Cup earned him a multi-million pound deal to Real Madrid but he hasn’t been able to feature regularly due to the presence of star players. He was loaned out to Bayern Munich where he scored 7 and assisted 11 in 19 appearances in the league.
James is no doubt their best player on the pitch and his ability to pick out Falcao with his immaculate through ball is indeed exquisite and much needed as both the teams head into a must win clash tonight.
His team will hoping for some of the absolute best from their golden boy if are to secure a passage into this years knockout round knowing very well how crucial a win for them is in the Senegal vs Columbia clash.
Davinson Sanchez – Rising Star
The 22 year old Davinson Sanchez will be hoping to make a huge impact in his first World Cup. He has tremendous pace and will need to be at his best to keep the opponent from scoring. He made a total of 39 appearances for Tottenham in the recently concluded season, averaging 1.1 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game.
The defender, who played an incredibly crucial role in the last game in Sunday’s win against Poland, warned of the danger posed by the Team from Africa and that of their talismatic forward and captain Sadio Mane and then insisted that his team would focus not only on one player but on their entire team in general.
Senegal have performed well in this tournament and has produced attacking brand of football which is always pleasing to see. They will just need to avoid defeat to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition. They have only played once against a side from South America which was a 3-3 draw against Uruguay.
Senegal have no injury issues but will try and focus on keeping things tight and defending on the line, with only a point from the Senegal vs Columbia match required to reach the last 16 for them.
Here is what Senegal Coach and former captain had to say ahead of the Senegal vs Columbia game :
“We have worked hard, we need only one point to be qualified, this is our goal, this generation deserves to go further in this competition,” he said.
“We need to improve the impact. We need to be more aggressive on the ball. At this level it goes very fast. We need to have more concentration. We need to be more rigorous.”
Kalidou Koulibaly – Star Player
The French-born defender came into this World Cup on the back of a stellar season with Napoli where they almost snatched the Seria A title from Juventus. The 27-year old averaged 2.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 3.3 clearances per 90 minutes from his 35-league appearance for Napoli this season.
The 27-year old 6ft 5inch tall defender has picked up 27 caps for his country but is yet to score a goal for them. The Lions of Teranga will be banking upon their leading defender to continue his fine form with the national team and help marshal their defensive line effectively. He will need to be at his best to stop the likes of Falcao and Rodriguez in the Senegal vs Columbia clash.
Sadio Mane – Star Player
Sadio Mane is among the best African players currently playing in Europe and the Liverpool man knows his trade pretty well. Mane is one of the reasons, Liverpool reached the finals of the Champions League 2018 alongside Mohamed Salah.
The lightning-quick forward has registered 10 goals and 7 assists in 29 Premier League matches for Liverpool and a further 10 goals and 1 assist for Liverpool in their road to the UEFA Champions League Final and will be their main threat ahead of the Senegal vs Columbia clash.
He is the go-to man of the Senegal team who can provide those breath-taking moments of brilliance and goals. Senegal will be hoping for the winger to produce goals of breathtaking nature from Mane like his goals in the Liverpool shirt and make the left wing his very own when he gets on the field and more importantly lead from the front in today’s match for Senegal vs Columbia.
Predicted Line ups for Senegal vs Columbia:-
KEY OPTA FACTS AHEAD OF SENEGAL VS COLUMBIA
– James Rodriguez has been involved in 10 goals in seven World Cup appearances for Colombia (six goals, four assists).
– Colombia registered its joint-biggest World Cup win in the 3-0 victory over Poland, also winning by three-goal margins against Greece (3-0) and Japan (4-1) in 2014.
– Moussa Wague became the first African teenager to score a World Cup goal in Senegal’s 2-2 draw with Japan (19y 263d).
– James Rodriguez has been involved in 10 of Colombia’s last 14 World Cup goals, with six goals and four assists.
– Sadio Mane found the net against Japan, the 15th different match he’d scored in for Senegal, which has yet to lose any of those (W9 D6).
Prediction for Senegal vs Columbia:-
The Colombian team has the momentum and also have enough firepower to score goals and also defend well.
Colombia 2-1 Senegal