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senegal18Senegal are the African representatives in Group H of the 2018 Fifa World Cup which also includes Colombia, Poland and Japan and we take a look at the form, squads and outright betting markets concerning each nation.

 

 

 

Note, odds quoted are an average price, accurate at the time of writing but subject to change

 

Colombia:

Qualification: Took the fourth automatic qualifying spot in South America, finishing 1 point behind Argentina, 4 shy of Uruguay and 14 behind Brazil.

Form: Despite taking just 3 points in their final 4 group qualifiers Colombia had banked enough points to take the direct route to Russia. They won 7, drew 6 and lost 5 of their matches, scoring 21 goals and conceding 19.

In their most recent major tournament finals Colombia made it through to the semis of Copa America 2017 where they lost 2-0 to Chile who went on to lift the trophy.

In the World Cup 2014 finals Colombia came through their group with a 100% record, seeing off Greece (3-0), Ivory Coast (2-1) and Japan (4-1). They beat Uruguay 2-0 in the first knockout round but then exited the tournament after a 2-1 defeat to host nation Brazil.

Recent friendly matches produced 0-0 draws with Egypt and Australia but they did beat France 3-2 in March.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (Once Caldas).

Defenders: Cristian Zapata (Milan), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Oscar Murillo (Pachuca), Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors), Johan Mojica (Girona), Yerry Mina (Barcelona).

Midfielders: Wílmar Barrios (Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (Espanyol), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Abel Aguilar (Deportivo Cali), Mateus Uribe (America), Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus).

Forwards: Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Miguel Borja (Palmeiras), Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Luis Fernando Muriel (Sevilla).

Betting:

To win the group 12/10

To qualify from the group 7/20

 

Poland:

Qualification: Topped their group finishing 5 points clear of Denmark.

Form: Poland impressed in qualifying, winning 8, drawing 1 and losing just 1 of their matches with 28 goals scored and 14 conceded.

They failed to make it to Euro 2016 or Brazil 2014 and this will be their first World Cup finals appearance since 2006 when they lost 2 and 1 won of their group matches to exit the tournament early.

A recent warm up match delivered a 2-2 draw with Chile whilst earlier in the year they beat South Korea (3-2) and lost to Nigeria (1-0).

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus).

Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL), Kamil Glik (Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund).

Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (Ludogorets Razgrad), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Paris St-Germain), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze), Karol Linetty (Sampdoria), Slawomir Peszko (Lechnia Gdansk), Maciej Rybus (Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli).

Forwards: Dawid Kownacki (Sampdoria), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (Anderlecht).

Betting:

To win the group 18/10

To qualify from the group 11/20

 

 

Senegal:

Qualification: Topped their qualifying group finishing 5 points clear of Burkina Faso with Cape Verde and Bafana missing out

Form: Taking the annulment of the result a controversial match with Bafana into account Senegal won 4 and drew 2 of their qualifiers, scoring 10 goals and conceding 3.

Their most recent major finals came in AFCON 2017 and Senegal came through their group unbeaten with 7 points before losing a penalty shoot out to eventual winners Cameroon in the first knockout round.

This will be their first World Cup finals since 2002 when they came through their group with 1 win and 2 draws. They beat Sweden in the first knockout round before losing a quarter final to Turkey.

Friendly international results this year are not encouraging, draws with Uzbekistan, Bosnia and Luxemburg and a 2-1 defeat to Croatia.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Khadim N'Diaye (Horoya AC), Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes), Alfred Gomis (Torino).

Defenders: Kara Mbodji (Anderlecht), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Moussa Wague (Eupen), Saliou Ciss (Angers), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux), Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor).

Midfielders: Badou Ndiaye (Stoke), Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham), Cheikh N'Doye (Birmingham), Salif Sane (Hannover 96), Alfred N'Diaye (Villarreal).

Forwards: Moussa Sow (Bursaspor), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Keita Balde Diao (Monaco), Moussa Konate (Amiens), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes), Diafra Sakho (Rennes), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke), M'Baye Niang (AC Milan).

Betting:

To win the group 5/1

To qualify from the group 14/10

 

Japan:

Qualification: Topped 1 of the Asia region groups finishing 1 point clear of Saudi Arabia and Australia.

Form: Japan won 6, drew 2 and lost 2 of their qualifiers, scoring 17 goals and conceding 7 to edge top spot.

In the 2014 World Cup finals they hardly got in a blow, taking just 1 point from 3 group matches from a 0-0 draw with Greece either side of a 2-1 loss to loss to Ivory Coast and 4-1 defeat to Colombia. In South Africa 2010 they did win 2 of their group matches before losing to Paraguay in the first knockout round.

Recent friendly matches saw Japan draw 1-1 with Mali and lose to Ukraine (2-1), Ghana (2-0) and Switzerland (2-0).

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol).

Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino, Wataru Endo (both Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji, Naomichi Ueda (both Kashima Antlers).

Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Hertha Berlin), Takashi Usami (Augsburg), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale).

Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz).

Betting:

To win the group 7/1

To qualify from the group 2/1

 

Verdict:

This looks a pretty evenly balanced group to me with 4 continents represented but no really big guns. With that in mind I fancy Senegal could spring a surprise and finish top, a speculative play reflected in the odds of reward.

 

Bet: Senegal to win the group at 5/1

 

forumRemember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum

 

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