World Cup Group H: This one’s going to be close

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The World Cup is only one day away now. And we’re making sure you’re prepared with our final group preview. 

It’s Group H, which features Colombia, Japan, Poland and Senegal.

This could be one of the most open groups. It features four decent sides and none of the major contenders.

All of them will fancy their chances of reaching the knockout stages. Who’ll make it and who’ll miss out?

Here’s all the key info…

Colombia

FIFA Ranking: 16

Manager: Jose Pekerman

Qualification: Colombia nabbed the fourth and final automatic qualification spot in CONMEBOL, finishing a point above Peru.

Star player: James Rodriguez

How far will they go? La Tricolor are 11/8 favourites to win Group H. Matching 2014’s quarter-final finish would be seen as a real success.

Odds to win World Cup: 33/1

Fun fact: None of Colombia’s previous 18 matches at a World Cup tournament have finished goalless.

Japan

FIFA Ranking: 61

Manager: Akira Nishino

Qualification: Cruised through the second round of AFC qualifying without defeat. Japan then finished top of Group B in the third round to reach Russia.

Star player: Shinji Kagawa

How far will they go? Getting out of the group would delight their supporters.

Odds to win World Cup: 150/1

Fun fact: Japan have only topped the group in one of their six previous World Cup appearances – when they hosted in 2002.

Poland

FIFA Ranking: 8

Manager: Adam Nawalka

Qualification: Topped their group but let in 14 goals along the way. No European side in Russia conceded more during the qualifiers.

Star player: Robert Lewandowski

How far will they go? Likely to battle with Senegal for second spot. But they’ll need to improve at the back to go through.  

Odds to win World Cup: 40/1

Fun fact: Poland boss Nawalka played in five of their six games at the 1978 World Cup as a 19-year-old.

Senegal

FIFA Ranking: 27

Manager: Aliou Cisse

Qualification: Qualified automatically after winning their group and going unbeaten.

Star player: Sadio Mane

How far will they go? Their defensive organisation and speed on the break could take them into the last 16.

Odds to win World Cup: 125/1

Fun fact: Senegal have never lost a World Cup group-stage match (they’ve only played three).

Click here for the latest World Cup odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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Daniel Anwar

Daniel has covered sports for Squawka, FourFourTwo and iSportconnect. He is a naively optimistic Arsenal fan and is also passionate about music, film and chicken wings.