Thu, Jun 14, 11:33am by Staff Writer
The final group in the 2018 FIFA World Cup is group H featuring Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.
Colombia are the shortest price of any team in group H to win the World Cup at $41 at Sportsbet.
They dazzled at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014, benefiting from playing on their home continent in familiar surroundings. They only finished fourth in CONMEBOL qualification and have had mixed results since the last World Cup.
Their inconsistent qualification form has included a 3-2 win against France in a friendly, interspersed with poor results against Australia and Egypt, drawing both matches.
The Colombian side features some of the world’s best attacking players including Radamel Falco and Carlos Bacca. James Rodriguez was a revelation in 2014 and has gone from strength to strength since joining Bayern Munich.
Those European players will join teammates who play in South America, so the way that coach Jose Pekerman adapts to these contrasting styles will be interesting to watch.
Colombia is $2.40 to win group H, in what is the tightest group odds wise to determine a group winner. They are $1.36 to qualify for the knockout rounds.
Colombia play Japan in Saransk before a crucial match against Poland which could decide the group winner in Kazan. They close group play against Senegal.
Poland has enjoyed a recent upturn in their football fortunes, which began with the hosting of Euro 2012. That meant money was spent on football infrastructure, which has helped to develop the country’s young talent.
They have featured in eight previous World Cups, with two third placed finishes in 1974 and 1982, a testament to the country’s golden generation during that period.
Since then, results have been bleak, but they have a host of star players that can turn their fortunes around.
Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski is a key player for the Polish side, with the team not winning a game since 2016 when he has not scored a goal.
There are other forwards in the Polish team, but there is none more crucial than Lewandowski.
The Poles are fancied to progress from group H at $1.45 and are set to challenge Colombia for top spot at $2.50. They are a $67 shot to win the World Cup.
They will look to get off to a good start against Senegal, before a big test against Colombia on June 24.
Senegal have dazzled on the world stage a number of times, none more memorable than in 2002 when they made the quarter finals after beating France in the group stage.
The country’s biggest star is Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, who has a knack for scoring goals effortlessly.
Mane won’t have teammate Mohamed Salah beside him in national colours, but will be looking to replicate his partnership with Milan’s M’Baye Niang.
Group H is well balanced and Senegal are not without a chance of progressing to the knockout rounds. They are $4.50 to win group H and $2.10 to qualify for the knockout phase.
Every point will be crucial for Senegal, as they begin their campaign against Poland, before a must-win game against Japan and closing out against Colombia.
Japan are the outsiders in group H, with one of Australia’s fiercest rivals $7 to win group H and $3.40 to make the knockout rounds.
Japan has qualified for its sixth World Cup in a row, with the Blue Samurai capable of springing a surprise in this tournament.
They have a well-balanced side with players plying their trade all across Europe. Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa and Leicester’s Shinji Okazaki will be called upon to score goals. A star of yesteryear Keisuke Honda has been mediocre since joining the Mexican league and will need an upturn in form to be a factor at this tournament.
Japan face Colombia on June 19, before matches against Senegal and Poland. They are $301 to win the World Cup.
Best bet- Poland to win group H at $2.50
Sportsbet World Cup Markets
Group H Winner
To qualify from Group H
Colombia $1.62 Draw $3.60 Japan $5.50
Poland $2.25 Draw $3.10 Senegal $3.30
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