World Cup 2018: Colombia vs Senegal - preview, team news, predicted XI, prediction, head to head & interesting stats
Colombia and Senegal will face on Thursday knowing a victory for either side will see them qualifying into the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Colombia started their World Cup campaign in the worst way possible as they lost 2-1 to Japan after playing almost entire 90 minutes with 10 men as Carlos Sanchez was red carded for handling the ball in the 3rd minute of the match (the second fastest red card in World Cup history).
Although Juan Fernando Quintero tried his best to level the game with a brilliantly taken free-kick, it was the Japanese who had the last laugh as Yuya Osako scored in the 73rd minute to give a 2-1 lead over Colombia.
The second match in the group saw Colombia facing off against a Polish side who also lost their first game 2-1 against Senegal, with a win needed for both the team to enhance their chances of qualifying to the knockout stage.
In a match that saw club teammates - Robert Lewandoski and James Rodriguez facing each other, it was the latter who had the last laugh as James inspired Colombia to a 3-0 victory over their European opponents.
Victory against Senegal will see Los Cafeteros qualifying into the knockout stages of the tournament for the second time in a row after failing to qualify for the previous 3 World Cups prior. In a scenario where the match ends in a draw, Colombia will have to rely on Poland defeating Japan.
Senegal started off their first match defeating Group favourites Poland 2-1, goals from M'Baye Niang, Thiago Cionek (own goal) and Krychowiak settled the match in favour of Senegal.
In their next match, the Lions of Teranga saw their side earning a 2-2 draw against Japan after twice leading in the match. A point or more will see Senegal qualifying into the knockout stages of the World Cup for the second time in their second World Cup appearance.
Colombia coach José Pékerman has Carlos Sanchez back in contention after he served his red card suspension in the last match.
With a point needed to qualify, Senegal are expected to name the same starting XI as in the previous match
Possible team line-ups
Colombia Predicted XI: David Ospina, Santiago Arias, Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, Johan Mojica, Mateus Uribe, Carlos Sanchez, Juan Cuadrado, Juan Quintero, James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao
Senegal Predicted XI: Khadim Ndiaye, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Koulibaly, Salif Sane, Moussa Wague, Cheikhou Kouyate, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Sadio Mane, Mbaye Niang, Ismaila Sarr
Head to Head stats
In their only previous meeting before this World Cup, Senegal and Colombia played out an exciting 2-2 draw in Buenos Aires after Colombia scored 2 goals in the first half.
In 3 previous meetings with African opponents, Los Cafeteros has recorded victory in 2 of the 3 matches after failing to win their first match.
Colombian number 10 - James Rodriguez has 6 goals and 4 assists in 7 World Cup appearances.
Senegal is yet to be defeated in a group stage match in their World Cup history. Only once have they faced a South American opponent - Uruguay in 2002, this resulted in a 3-3 draw. Senegal is yet to be beaten in a match where Sadio Mane has scored the goal.
Moussa Wague became the youngest African to score a goal in the World Cup after coming on as a substitute.
Senegal vs Colombia, Group H:
Match Date: 28 June 2018, Thursday
Match Timing: 19:30 IST
Match Venue: Samara Arena, Samara, Russia
It is most likely to be an attack vs defence type of match as Senegal needs just 1 point to qualify while Colombia needs all 3 points.
Colombia 2-2 Senegal