The 2018 FIFA World Cup continues Tuesday as Japan and Colombia face off at Mordovia Arena. Jose Pekerman’s side should breeze through the group stage, but will kick off their Group H competition against one of the more experienced squads in the roster.
Let’s take a closer look at where the value’s at in this match.
What to Watch For
Betting on the Draw: Odds — at 3.80 — indicate there’s a 26.3 percent chance of a draw. AccuScore sims, however, have a draw in 17 percent of matches, suggesting no value on the draw.
The average score in sims is 2.26 – 0.58, in favor of Colombia.
Japan’s Experience: Japan has qualified for six straight World Cups, bringing quite a bit of experience to this year’s tournament. They’ve only made it to the Round of 16 twice in those six appearances, but there’s a little more hope this year given the team’s strong attack. Their defense, however, is questionable after giving up six goals in three June matches against Ghana, Switzerland, and Paraguay.
Unpredictable: Colombia comes into the tournament with mixed expectations. They barely made it in after failing to win any of the final four qualifying matches, finishing in some 0-0 draws vs Australia and Egypt.
Star Power: Japan’s attack is made up of Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa, Leicester City’s Shinjo Okazako, and former AC Milan attacker Keisuke Honda.
Keisuke Honda is projected to lead the way for Japan, followed by Yoshinori Muto. Honda has a 12.2 percent chance to net the ball as he averages 1.04 shots overall per sim, 0.37 shots on goal per, and 0.13 goals per sim. Muto has a 10.2 percent chance of scoring as he averages 0.58 shots overall per sim, 0.25 shots on goal per, and 0.11 goals per sim.
For Colombia, it’s Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez. Falcao has close to a 60 percent chance of scoring as he averages 3.21 shots overall per sim, 1.33 shots on goal per, and 0.9 goals per sim. James has a 34 percent chance to net the ball, averaging 2.13 shots overall, 0.79 shots on goal per, and 0.42 goals per sim.
Colombia to win.
The odds — at 1.68 — indicate Colombia has a 59.5 percent chance to win the game in regulation. They win 77 percent of AccuScore simulations, convincing us Colombia should be a heavier favorite than they are listed at. Given Colombia’s offensive firepower and Japan’s defensive struggles, it’s tough to not take the favorite here.