Quibbl World Cup 2018: Some Context Before Tuesday’s Games

Colombia vs. Japan, Group H, 1st Match, 8AM (ET)

Some context: Group H action finally gets underway Tuesday, which means our first chance to see James Rodriguez and the 2014 quarterfinalists. Colombia has only been in fair form since they qualified for the tournament, but seems to have the talent to flip the switch. It will also be exciting to see striker Radamel Falcao, 32, finally make his World Cup debut. Japan comes in on shaky ground after firing their coach just two months ago, and they’ve played poorly since Akira Nishino took over.

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Poland vs. Senegal, Group H, 1st Match 11AM

Some context: Poland is actually #8 in the FIFA rankings, which seems a bit high for a squad that hasn’t competed in the World Cup since 2006. This team is clearly a sturdy bunch, though, and likes to dominate possession, led by veterans Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski. Senegal, on the other hand, is dependent on their incredible athleticism, featuring world-class center back Kalidou Koulibaly, and the dynamic finisher from Liverpool, Sadio Mane.

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Russia vs. Egypt, Group A, 2nd Match, 2PM

Some context: The host country looks to keep things rolling after opening the Cup with a 5-0 drubbing of Saudi Arabia, quieting the bad buzz that was surrounding this team prior to kickoff. They looked strong on defense and with possession against Saudi Arabia, and its unclear if Egypt can pose more of a threat. The return of Mo Salah should certainly help, though it’s fair to wonder about his form and what he can actually provide. Egypt desperately needs a point after their devastating loss to Uruguay, a game in which their defense looked dependable and tough but they lacked firepower.

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