Colombia vs Japan
Colombia started their qualifying path quite decently, but suffered bit poorer form towards the end of the qualifications. It almost cost them of World Cup participations, but thanks to other results the team managed to seal the direct qualification.
They had three draws and one defeat in last four rounds, ending the competition with only one point more than Chile that stood without placement to World Cup. Their last game was a 1:1 draw away to Peru which saw them sealing the qualifications.
As for the friendly matches, the side went to Asian tour in November last year losing to South Korea 2:1 and winning over China 4:0. During match they had great and morale boosting victory in France 2:3, also a goalless draw against Australia. As the last preparation game, they had a goalless draw against Egypt in Bergamo on 1st June.
Falcao should lead their attack in 4-2-3-1 formation. Uribe, Rodriguez and Cuadrado should be offensive midfielders.
Japan didn't have many problems to secure the World Cup spot last year. Their final group consisted of Thailand, Iraq, UAE, Australia and Saudi Arabia, so the task wasn't extraordinary difficult. In the end they had six victories, two draws and two defeats - enough to seal the first position with a point more than Saudis and Aussies.
The team suffered 1:0 defeat away in Saudi Arabia in a game that didn't have much of competitive motive since they have already secured the top position round before the end. The side didn't show much of positive things during friendlies as they had a draw against Mali, but then lost to Ukraine early in March. Thier next preparations were defeats to Ghana and Switzerland couple of weeks ago. Final rehearsal before the World Cup saw them winning over Paraguay 4:2.
Needs to be said, their opponents didn't use exact first starting eleven players, as most of nations that didn't qualify approached those friendies in last weeks.
Okazaki should lead their attack in a formation similar to 4-2-3-1. Honda, Kagawa and Inui should be his offensive support.
These two nations still remember their last game when Colombia won over Japan 4:1 at the World Cup in 2014. In my eyes, not much has changed since then in view of the nations' quality. I still see Colombians as far more concrete with the ball to their feet and they should be the ones who use their chances easier.
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Colombia vs Japan prediction
Colombia Wins @ 1.70 with Pinnacle