Without Rodriguez, Colombia Look to Break Senegal Resistance

Keita Balde

Monaco’s Keita Balde is a rising talent but has not played a minute at the World Cup so far

Given they need only a point, they may revert to the 4-4-2 they used against Poland but against Colombia's attack and with their own flaky defence in mind, one would think they would have to score.

And Senegal coach Aliou Cisse is calling on his star attacker to produce the goods in Samara. Cisse, Senegal skipper in the country's run to the quarter-finals in 2002, hopes that Mane can be the difference, on what promises to be a nerve-wracking final round of matches on Thursday.

"Colombia's style of play is similar to ours, very physical, moving forward quickly".

The South Americans are now third and need a win in Samara to guarantee a place in the last 16, while the African side are second and will progress with at least a draw.

Colombia have scored four goals from seven shots on target at the 2018 World Cup, scoring three goals from four shots on target in their 3-0 win over Poland.

Senegal and Colombia have faced each other just once before, in a friendly in May 2014, with Colombia taking a 2-0 lead into half-time, only to concede two goals in the second half. But the team went unbeaten in its World Cup qualifying campaign, winning three matches and drawing a pair, as the 11v11 database shows. Given the high-stakes nature of Senegal vs. Colombia, we're picking a draw between these two cautious and capable sides.

Colombia wins to move on to the next round, as Senegal also sneaks through with Poland beating Japan.

The teams will meet at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday in their final World Cup 2018 Group H game. If the subscription is canceled prior to the expiration of that free week, fans can watch the Senegal vs. Colombia match - and all World Cup matches during that weeklong period - streamed live at no charge.

Anyway, most sources are calling this a "winner takes all" match which, with deference to Jimmy Tarbuck's teatime quiz behemoth, is technically a load of old cobblers.

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