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Japan v Colombia: South Americans to snuff out Samurai Blue

| 22.06.2014

In World Cup Group D, Japan are faced with the daunting task of finding a way past Colombia if they are to stand any chance of a fifth knockout-stage berth on the spin, after blowing their best hope of progressing when held by anti-football experts Greece.

As the three bets below indicate, we don’t like their odds against one of the tournament’s better-liked teams.

Colombia to win to nil @ 3/1

Los Cafeteros may have failed to keep their sheet clean during the 2-1 win against Ivory Coast, but the West Africans have looked much sharper in attack than Japan at this World Cup.

Indeed, Didier Drogba and co have struck three times so far compared to just once from Alberto Zaccheroni’s men, who couldn’t notch against a Greece side that went down to 10 men before half-time, despite firing off 10 shots.

Juan Quintero to score at any time @ 7/2

The Porto midfielder – who’ll probably leave the Estadio do Dragao for an astonishing fee this summer – will be hoping for a first World Cup start against Japan, after coming off the bench to bag his side’s second against the Elephants.

Quintero needed just 17 minutes to open his account in Brasilia, so the diminutive former Envigado youth should be backed for more again if he makes Jose Pekerman’s teamsheet.

Highest-scoring half – Second @ 21/20

The post-pie 45 is the warm favourite to produce the most goals in Cuiaba – first-half is 2/1, with the draw 23/10 – and for good reason.

In the four fixtures that have featured these sides so far, seven goals have been fired home after the break, compared to just two before, and only Japan’s disappointment against Greece has seen this bet fail to land in Group C so far.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune