World Cup 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 21:00 GMT (16:00 Local time)
Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba
Japan vs Colombia Preview
Japan has missed an opportunity to increase its points balance with a victory over Greece, although they had a player more on the pitch, so their placement into the next round depends not only on their victory over objectively better team of Colombia, but also on the outcome of the match between Greece and the Ivory Coast.
Japan has made a great progress in football in recent years, mostly thanks to the players who have attracted the attention of European clubs as well as players and coaches who came to Japanese clubs. The internationals will be key players in this deciding match to qualify for the next stage of the competition, especially Kagawa and Honda, but traditional Japanese fighting spirit is a key factor in the eventual success. In truth, they were fighting in the last two games as well, but did not have enough concentration to realize opportunities to score a goal. If they want to win the three points they need to improve that segment of play, but even the victory does not guarantee passage into the next round.
Probable line-up of Japan (4-2-3-1): Kawashima – Uchida, Yoshida, Konno, Nagatomo – Yamaguchi, Endo – Okazaki, Honda, Kagawa – Kakitani
Colombia finished the job in the first two rounds, so they have a possibility to rest key players for the clash in the last 16, where the opponent will be one of two very strong teams of Italy and Uruguay. The rest is especially required for excellent striker Bacca, who has not recovered enough, especially in a situation when Falcao stayed at home. That is why I believe that a few new players will be in the team of Colombia, but anyway they are great players who will want to take advantage of their opportunity, and Colombia will not easily give up points to the opponent. After all, supporters of Colombia will be in the majority in the stands and they will require maximum efficiency of their players.
Probable line-up of Colombia (4-2-3-1): Vargas – Arias, Alvarez, Valdes, Armero – Mejia, Guarin – Carbonero, Quintero, Ramos – Martinez
Japan vs Colombia Match Prediction
In addition to the speed and agility in the attack, the team of Colombia has shown excellent performance in carrying out defensive assignments, which will complicate the task of the Japanese attack. On the other hand, the Japanese has not showed resourcefulness in front of the goal, so I believe we will not see a goal in the first half hour of the game. No Goal Before 28:00.