World Cup Group H Preview

The group of death. 

Poland

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History 

Poland have participated in seven World Cups, their first came in 1938, and they finished third on two occasions the 1974 and 1982 World Cups. 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus), Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea)
Defenders – Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Thiago Cionek (SPAL), Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Bartosz Bereszynski (Sampdoria), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders – Jacek Goralski (Ludogorets Razgrad), Karol Linetty (Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Brom), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Maciej Rybus (Lokomotiv Moscow), Jakub Blaszczykowski (Wolfsburg), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze)
Forwards – Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Lukasz Teodorczyk (Anderlecht), David Kownacki (Sampdoria)
Manager – Adam Nawalka
Most Caps – Jakub Blaszcykowski (99)
Captain – Robert Lewandowski 
Star Player – Robert Lewandowski

Analysis

Poland are part of the true group of death in this competition and have tough games against all three opponents. Poland have played two friendlies, drawing the first and winning the other. They have a decent squad which is led by one of the best strikers in the world, Lewandowski. If Lewandowski can encourage his team to push on and he can add a few goals then Poland stand a chance of going through to the round of 16. 

Senegal

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History

Senegal have participated in only one World Cup which took place in 2002, that competition also saw them reach the Quarter-Finals of the competition. 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes), Khadim N’Diaye (Horoya), Alfred Gomis (SPAL), 
Defenders – Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes), Kalidou Koulibably (Napoli), Kara Mbodji (Anderlecht), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux), Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor), Moussa Wagué (Eupen)
Midfielders – Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Salif Sané (Hannover), Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham), Cheikh N’Doye (Birmingham City), Alfred N’Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Badou Ndiaye (Stoke City)
Forwards – Moussa Sow (Bursaspor), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City), Sadio Mané (Liverpool), Moussa Konaté (Amiens), Diafra Sakho (Rennes), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes), M’Baye Niang (Torino), Keita Baldé (Monaco)
Manager – Aliou Cissé
Most Caps – Idrissa Gueye (61)
Captain – Cheikhou Kouyaté 
Star Player – Sadio Mané

Analysis 

Senegal take a very youthful side to their second ever World Cup, and based on the squad they have they could cause some upsets along the way. Senegal played three friendlies, drawing one losing one and winning one. With a forward line filled with attacking talent, Senegal could make it to the round of 16 and maybe even further. 

Colombia

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History

Colombia have participated in five World Cups, their first came in 1962 and they reached the quarter finals of the World Cup in 2014. 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (Deportivo Cali), José Fernando Cuadrado (Once Caldas), 
Defenders – Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona), Farid Diaz (Olimpia), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham)
Midfielders – Wilmar Barrios (Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (América), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate)
Forwards – Carlos Bacca (Villareal), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (Palmeiras), José Izquierdo (Brighton)
Manager – José Pékerman 
Most Caps – David Ospina (86)
Captain – Radamel Falcao 
Star Player – James Rodriguez

Analysis

Colombia were spectacular in 2014 and they will be hoping to replicate those performances in Russia. Colombia have played two friendlies both nil nil draws. With a squad that includes players like Rodriguez and Falcao it would be hard to not favour the Colombians but this group is full of strong teams and so nothing is guaranteed. 

Japan

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History

Japan have participated in five World Cups, their first came in 1998 and they managed to reach the round of 16 in 2002 and 2010. 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol)
Defenders – Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Wataru Endo (Urawa Red Diamonds), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Red Diamonds), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburger SV), Maya Yoshida (Southampton)
Midfielders – Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Makoto Hasabe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale)
Forwards – Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz), Yuya Osako (Koln)
Manager – Akira Nishino 
Most Caps – Shinji Okazaki (113)
Captain – Makoto Hasebe
Star Player – Shinji Kagawa

Analysis

Japan always play football that pleases the eye and hopefully they can convert those performances into wins this time around. Japan played three friendlies in total losing two and winning one, they have quality around the pitch and if the right chemistry is found between the players then they could get out of a group which has teams at similar levels. 

 

 

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