Colombia vs. Japan: Team News, Live Stream, TV Info for World Cup 2018

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2018

Colombia national football team forward James Rodriguez looks on during the international friendly football match between Egypt and Colombia at 'Atleti Azzurri d'Italia Stadium' in Bergamo on June 1, 2018. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Colombia take on Japan on Tuesday as Group H gets under way at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The two sides—along with Poland and Senegal—have had to wait for their turn after being drawn in the last group alphabetically, and they will be keen to kick off their campaign with a positive result in Russia.

Read on for a closer look at the clash, but first, here are the viewing details you need to catch the action and the latest team news:

                            

Date: Tuesday, June 19

Time: 3 p.m. local time/1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET

TV: BBC (UK), FS1 (USA)

Live Stream: BBC website (UK), Fox Soccer 2GO (USA)

                           

Team News

Per Agence France-Presse (h/t Firstpost), Colombia's James Rodriguez and Wilmar Barrios are both doubts for the match due to muscle fatigue, and the former missed training on Friday as a result.

Colombia striker Carlos Bacca said "both have a little muscle fatigue but that's normal with the amount of work that has been done since we left Bogota" a month ago, though AFP added manager Jose Pekerman is said to be considering using Juan Quintero in Rodriguez's place if he isn't fit enough to start.

Per Transfermarkt, Japan appear to be injury-free and should have a full squad to call upon.

                        

Preview

Rodriguez was the breakout star of the 2014 World Cup, where he finished with the Golden Boot after netting six goals to help fire Colombia to the quarter-finals.

He played a key role in getting Los Cafeteros to the tournament this time around, too:

Pekerman will be hoping Rodriguez is able to start on Tuesday; his ability to carve open a defence with a pinpoint pass or lash in a strike from distance makes him the biggest difference-maker in the side.

The 26-year-old found the net when Colombia beat Japan 4-1 at the last World Cup, and they'll be hoping he can do the same again if he plays.

As for the Blue Samurai, their preparations for the tournament have not been ideal.

They replaced manager Vahid Halilhodzic with Akira Nishino in April, and he has had just three friendlies to work with the team.

Japan lost 2-0 to Ghana and Switzerland in the first two of those, though there were some positives in a 4-2 win over Paraguay, per football commentator Ben Mabley:

Shinji Kagawa's performance was a particular highlight, as he scored and contributed two assists.

Japan will need players such as Kagawa, Shinji Okazaki and Keisuke Honda to be at their best if they're to get a result here or make it out of a tricky group.

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