Revved up Colombia look to squash Japan in…

World Cup: Group H in action, hosts eye 2nd win Tuesday

Colombia star Rodriguez in doubt for World Cup opener against Japan - Xinhua |

The Japanese will try to improve on the 4-1 drubbing handed to them by Colombia at the 2014 World Cup when Jackson Martinez scored twice to send their winless rivals home after finishing bottom of their group.

The South Americans open their Group H campaign against Japan in Saransk on Tuesday after making their final preparations at a picturesque ski resort overlooking the Volga River. And if I simply take that fact into account, we won't win. Monaco striker Radamel Falcao missed out on the 2014 World Cup due to a ligament injury.

Action will then quickly resume as the second round of the group stage takes off in Group A where African side Egypt will take on the hosts Russian Federation.

See who ESPN FC's Stewart Robson and Alexis Nunes have coming out on top as Colombia, Japan, Poland and Senegal begin their World Cup journeys.

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Colombia striker Luis Muriel believes his team have the talent to go further in the World Cup in Russian Federation than the side of four years ago who reached the quarter-finals in Brazil. "But they are not (defending champions) Germany, so we have a chance and we hope we can go further". That clash promises to be a shootout between two of European football's most lethal forwards - Sadio Mane and Robert Lewandowski.

The four-time Asia Cup winners came into the World Cup with a new manager, Akira Nishino who joined the team with just 70 days before the start of this tournament and he has never managed any team outside of Japan.

On the question of Salah's fitness, the coach Hector Cuper has said he is hopeful the star forward will play, if given the green light by a final fitness test before the match.

"They were the first team to qualify for the World Cup, they have players with vast experience".

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