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World Cup 2018 Matchday 6 Preview

Kartik Mathur
518   //    19 Jun 2018, 17:23 IST


The last group of this tournament will play its matches today with Colombia facing Japan and Senegal facing Poland. Hosts Russia will also take on Egypt in Group A's fixture. Here are the main things to keep an eye out for in today's matches

Can Colombia keep their underdog status alive?

Japan have a fairly good squad which includes players like Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa and Leicester's Premier League winning squad member Shinji Okazaki. Whether or not they can get some points against a team like Colombia is yet to be seen. Let's just hope their playing style is as good as their jersey

Colombia were of the surprise packages at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, having reached the quarter-finals before being knocked out of the tournament by hosts Brazil 2-1. Their star player that year was James Rodriguez, as he scored a whopping 6 goals to win the Golden Boot award.

Colombia are coming into this year's World Cup in impressive form, with a squad that contains the likes of Ramadel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and James Rodriguez, when he is fit, in attack and Yerry Mina in defence. Colombia are undoubtedly the favourites to top their group and a solid start against Japan in their first group fixture would be the perfect start for them.

With players such as Mina and goalkeeper David Ospina not getting enough playing time at their respective clubs, this tournament would be the perfect opportunity for them to prove their worth and to keep their country's underdog status alive at this World Cup.

Poland vs Senegal and Lewandowski vs Mane

Mane vs Lewandowski, keep an eye on this one

Robert Lewandowski is considered as one of the best strikers in the world, single-handedly leading Poland to qualify for the World Cup, having scored 16 of Poland's 28 goals. His nation will face off against Senegal, whose main player, Sadio Mane, is coming back after having a stellar season at Liverpool and helping them reach the Champions League final.

Even though both the teams have good squads, the key battle will certainly be between Lewandowski and Mane. Getting 3 points in this match will be crucial for both the teams as getting any points against Colombia might just be too much for them.

The return of Mohamed Salah

The return of the King...

Egypt's talisman Mohamed Salah had a stunning first season at Liverpool notching up 44 goals in all competitions. Having faced injured his shoulder in the Champions League Final, there were many doubts on whether Salah will recover in time for the World Cup.

Even though Salah was declared fit for the World Cup, he did not start in Egypt's first group game against Uruguay, instead sitting on the bench, watching his team lose 1-0. They will now face current group leaders and the host nation Russia, who are motivated after beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 on the opening day. This match is crucial for Egypt, knowing that a defeat would most certainly end their World Cup run.

Salah is in pole position to start the game, and he knows that he will have to replicate his performance at club level for his country. With Salah's pace and dribbling ability, Egypt will be lethal on counter-attacks. We now have to wait and see whether he can get the 3 points for his country and more importantly, stay fit during the match.

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Kartik Mathur
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