Colombia will take on Poland at the Kazan Arena on Sunday, but who are the three players worth keeping a closer look in this highly important Group H encounter?
Poland will look to bounce back from their disappointing defeat to Senegal as they meet Colombia at the Kazan Arena on Sunday afternoon. Colombia, who have also tasted defeat in their opening fixture will be looking to register their first victory as well. However, a defeat for either of these sides could shatter their World Cup hopes.
Having done so well in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil four years ago, it’s almost imperative for Colombia to snatch all three points against a Polish side, who have looked all over the place in their opening game. And here at the Hark Tackle, we take a look at three players who could potentially decide the outcome of the game.
Easily one of Colombia’s best players in their 2-1 defeat to Japan, Juan Quintero is likely to retain his spot in the starting lineup. The former Stade Rennais attacker was the only player, who proved to be a threat against a strong Japanese defence, often causing trouble with his mazy runs in the attacking third.
In fact, his clever free kick handed Colombia the all important equalizer, even though it was cancelled out by Yuya Osako’s second half winner.
In this game, however, Juan Quintero will likely have the support of James Rodriguez. Although Quintero’s playing style in the final third is somewhat similar to James’, it remains to be seen whether or not he can use his set-piece prowess and clever movements to cause havoc in the opposing defence.
In addition, Juan Cuadrado’s pace on the flanks will help the more creative minds in the likes of Juan Quintero and James Rodriguez, ultimately making Colombia much more complete in attack when compared to the game against Japan.
Robert Lewandowski will remain Poland’s only hope if they are to salvage anything against the mighty Colombians. Especially after a disappointing opening game defeat against Senegal, the Bayern Munich striker will be tasked with the responsibility of guiding his nation back into the context as they look to qualify to the next round with a win against Los Cafeteros.
Highly regarded as one of the best attackers in world football, Robert Lewandowski has been a vital asset for the Polish national team over the years. His lethal scoring prowess in front goal coupled with his unmatched tenacity is sure to wreak havoc against a Colombian defence, who have looked wobbly in their game against Japan.
Lewandowski was ineffective in the last game, however, having failed to cause a stir in the solid Senegalese defence. But he’ll be looking to turn things around in this vital fixture.
James Rodriguez’s likely return to the starting eleven will be a huge boost for Jose Pekerman’s side. James failed to start the last game due to fitness issues but is expected to make the starting squad on Sunday.
His return will significantly strengthen Colombia in the final third with the in-form Juan Quintero and the pacy Juan Cuadrado partnering him in the offensive territory. James’ ability to carve out opposition defence with his creativity and finesse is sure to cause trouble for this weak looking Polish defence.
Thus, Colombia are more than expected to oust Poland in their second group game with James Rodriguez and Juan Quintero set to play a key role for Los Cafeteros. However, it remains to be seen whether or not will Lewandowski manage to play to his potential as Poland look to cause an upset in this highly important Group H fixture on Sunday.