The first round of group games are completed as Group H gets underway with one of 2014 World Cup’s surprise packages, Colombia beginning their campaign against Japan.
Poland then face Senegal before Russia kick-starts the second round of group games as they meet Mohamed Salah’s Egypt.
Colombia vs JapanEmbed from Getty Images
2014 Quarter Finalists, Colombia finally get their World Cup underway against a solid Japan side.
Japan tend to play with high tempo and can switch from defence to attack and vice versa in an instant, so Colombia will need to be on guard here but can take heart from previous meetings.
They have met three times before with Colombia winning twice, including four years ago at this stage when ran riot in a 4-1 win with goals from Juan Cuadrado and James Rodriguez either side of a Jackson Martinez brace.
Prediction wise, I can see Colombia just edging it because am not getting a thriller feeling but they’re the stronger side.
Prediction: Colombia 1-0 Japan
Poland vs Senegal
Poland and Senegal complete the first round of group matches when they meet in Group H.
Although this is their first ever meeting, Poland are unbeaten against African opposition in three previous meetings. Across those three games, they took a 1-0 win and drew other two 0-0.
Bialo-czerwoni have also won just one of their seven previous World Cup opening matches and haven’t scored in last five openers.
Senegal meanwhile went unbeaten through the group stage of their last and only World Cup appearance, whilst beating European opposition (France) in their opening game by a single goal.
In my opinion, we shouldn’t expect much here but attack will be key because Poland have Robert Lewandowski whilst Senegal boast a strong well known trio of ;Mame Biram Diouf, Sadio Mane and Diafra Sakho, who will all be known to Premier League fans.
Realistically I wouldn’t be surprised by a draw but reckon Senegal might spring a late surprise.
Prediction: Poland 0-1 Senegal
Russia vs Egypt
Having beaten Saudi Arabia in opening game, Russia know that a win here will almost certainly secure their spot in the knockout stage.
Egypt meanwhile need victory to realistically take their hopes of reaching the next stage alive, having suffered a late 1-0 loss to Uruguay last time out.
With Mohamed Salah fit, you would have to fancy the Pharaohs here with their solid defence and the Liverpool forward will provide extra fear on the attack for a Russian side facing their first test.
Denis Cheryshev however will be a real danger for the hosts after impressing as a sub against Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
Realistically, I can see both teams scoring but Egypt needs the win more.
Prediction: Russia 1-2 Egypt