Colombia are narrow favourites to qualify from Group H of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, despite Poland having been the number-one seed drawn into the group.
Poland were ranked sixth in the FIFA Rankings at the time of the World Cup draw but, after Colombia progressed to the quarter-finals last time out, it is the South American team tipped to top the group.
Senegal and Japan are the other two teams in the group – the African team appearing for the first time since their surprise run to the quarter-finals in Japan and Korea in 2002.
Read on for the fixtures, group odds and forecasts in Group H....
Mordovia Arena, Saransk
Otkritie Arena, Moscow
Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg
Kazan Arena, Kazan
Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
Cosmos Arena, Samara
Colombia are favourites to win Group H, with Bet365 setting the South American team at 11/8 and Poland at 7/4.
Senegal are 9/2 and Japan are 15/2 – relatively short odds considering the expected dominance of Colombia and Poland.
Realistically, however, Colombia’s game with Poland in the second round of fixtures will be the one that decides the group winner.
Poland have only beaten Colombia twice in seven attempts, but their most recent match was in 2006. Nevertheless, Colombia showed their strength in beating France in their friendly in March and are favourites to top the group for a reason.
Despite Colombia and Poland being expected to get through the group stages, there are some comparatively generous prices being offered on the two of them to qualify for the second round.
Bet365 are offering 4/11 on Colombia to qualify for the second round, while Poland are 4/7. Senegal are 5/4 and Japan 2/1.
Senegal shocked the World Cup when they last appeared, but that was back in 2002 and they have a tough group with Colombia effectively the second seeds behind Poland.
Japan, meanwhile, have a poor record against non-Asian opponents of late, and again they are priced surprisingly low considering. Colombia and Poland really should be getting out of this group.
With that in mind then, a group forecast bet looks another good option, with effectively two choices to pick between if you are backing the favourites to go through.
A 1st – Colombia, 2nd – Poland forecast will return 7/2 with Bet365, while 1st – Poland, 2nd – Colombia is 4/1.
As already discussed, Colombia are favourites to top the group, however, and so the first forecast looks the better pick – and still returns a healthy potential profit.
As with the top end of the group, there are some relatively generous prices to be found at the other end of Group H too. Japan are 6/4 to finish bottom of Group H and Senegal are 2/1. Even Colombia are as low as 5/1 despite impressing four years ago.
Senegal impressed in their only previous World Cup outing, and while that might not be enough to go through this time, they will at least hope to finish ahead of Japan.
Given they were the number one seeds in the group and qualified relatively comfortably, you would expect Poland to be priced lower than 4/7 with Bet365 to qualify from Group H.
1) Colombia (11/8 to win Group H with Bet365)
2) Poland (4/7 to qualify with Bet365)
3) Senegal (4/7 to fail to qualify with Bet365)
4) Japan (6/4 to finish bottom of Group H with Bet365)
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