Jun 24, 2014 at 9pm UK at ​Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba
JapanJapan
1-4
Colombia
Okazaki (45')
Konno (16')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Cuadrado (18' pen.), Martinez (54', 81'), Rodriguez (89')
Guarin (63')

Preview: Japan vs. Colombia

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's World Cup Group C clash between Japan and Colombia.

Japan will enter Tuesday's World Cup Group C clash with Colombia knowing that only three points would keep their slim hopes of making the last 16 of the competition alive.

Alberto Zaccheroni's side lost their opening match 2-1 to Ivory Coast, before picking up a goalless draw with basement side Greece on June 19.

As a result, Japan sit third in the group on one point, two points behind second-placed Ivory Coast, who face Greece on the same evening.

As it stands, a Japan victory against Colombia would be enough to see them advance into the next round if Ivory Coast narrowly lose against Greece.

Colombia, however, have already safely booked their spot in the knockout stage of the competition following two wins. The South American team opened their group campaign with a 3-0 win over Greece, before beating Ivory Coast 2-1 last time out.

Colombia have only reached the last 16 of a World Cup once before (1990).

Japan have no fresh injury concerns from their goalless draw with Greece, but Manchester United attacker Shinji Kagawa could return to the XI. The experienced Yasuhito Endo is also pushing for a start, but Yoshito Okubo and Yuya Osako are both expected to continue in forward positions.

Colombia, meanwhile, are expected to ring the changes with qualification and top spot in the group secured. Jackson Martinez and Carlos Bacca are both pushing for starts in attack, while Fredy Guarin should also come into the XI.

Experienced defender Mario Yepes, however, will be given a rest alongside Juan Guillermo Cuadrado.

Recent form

Japan: WWWLD

Colombia: DDWWW

Possible starting lineups

Japan: Kawashima; Konno, Uchida, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Hasebe, Honda, Yamaguchi, Kagawa; Okubo, Osako

Colombia: Ospina; Armero, Arias, Zapata, Aguilar; Guarin, Sanchez, Vargas; Bacca, Martinez, Rodriguez

Sports Mole says: 1-2

 Colombia players pose for a team photo before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between Colombia and Greece at Estadio Mineirao on June 14, 2014
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