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World Cup 2018 Table: Standings Review and Sunday Match Predictions

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2018

VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA - JUNE 18: Harry Kane of England celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-2 during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between Tunisia and England at Volgograd Arena on June 18, 2018 in Volgograd, Russia. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

The second round of group-stage fixtures at the FIFA World Cup will be completed on Sunday, with the race to qualify from Group H in focus.

After winning their opening matches, Japan and Senegal square off with a chance to take control of the group. Meanwhile, both Poland and Colombia's hopes are in the balance, as they lost their first outings and meet knowing another loss would surely send them home.

Group G's second round of games is also rounded off on Sunday, as England look to join Belgium on six points at the top of the table. The Three Lions meet Panama, who are in search of their first World Cup goal and point.

           

Sunday Fixtures (Time BST—group, match, prediction)

1 p.m.—Group G, England vs. Panama, 3-0

4 p.m.—Group H, Japan vs. Senegal, 1-2

7 p.m.—Group H, Poland vs. Colombia, 1-3

                   

Standings  (Games played, goal difference, points)

Group G

1. Belgium: 2, +6, 6

2. England: 1, +1, 3

3. Panama: 1, -3, 0

4. Tunisia: 2, -4, 0

          

Group H

1. Japan 1, +1, 3

2. Senegal 1, +1, 3

3. Poland 1, -1, 0

4. Colombia 1, -1, 0

             

Sunday Preview

VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA - JUNE 18:  Harry Kane of England celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between Tunisia and England at Volgograd Arena on June 18, 2018 in Volgograd, Russia.  (
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

After watching Belgium swat aside Tunisia 5-2 on Saturday, England will be out to respond against Panama and pull level with the Red Devils at the top of Group G.

The Three Lions' first match ended in dramatic fashion, as Harry Kane netted a stoppage-time winner against Tunisia. It was a performance of functionality rather than fluidity from Gareth Southgate's men, and he will be keen to see more in the final third against the minnows.

With Kane, England do have the potential to do some damage in front of goal. As James Gheerbrant of the Times relayed, the Tottenham Hotspur man has been so potent this season:

James Gheerbrant @JamesGheerbrant

Harry Kane has scored as many goals for club and country this season (48) as Timo Werner (26) and Gabriel Jesus (22) combined.

If England do click into gear in the final third, then you do worry for Panama; there is a clear chasm in class between the two outfits.

The same cannot be said about either of the Group H matches, as this group is undoubtedly the most even of the eight in Russia. It's brilliantly poised too.

Japan picked up a huge win against Colombia.
Japan picked up a huge win against Colombia.JACK GUEZ/Getty Images

Both Japan and Senegal had to dig deep to come through their opening matches against opponents who were arguably stronger player for player. The former benefitted from an early red card for Colombia, whereas the latter were much stronger against a Poland team way below their best.

As 90min highlighted, Senegal appear to be making the most of their World Cup experience:

90min @90min_Football

How can you not love Senegal at this @FIFAWorldCup? #SEN 😁👏 https://t.co/qQTiDr5X22

Their mood will be improved further if they can get the better of Japan and move on to six points. A win for the Lions of Teranga or the Blue Samurai could put them into the knockout stages.

Colombia, quarter-finalists four years ago, need to produce a performance against Poland if they are to replicate that effort. In their first game against Japan, they were without talisman James Rodriguez from the start because of injury. Per Kris Voakes of Goal, the Bayern Munich loanee will be ready for this one:

Kris Voakes @krisvoakes

Pekerman says James Rodriguez is fit to play for #COL v #POL tomorrow: "James is doing very well and we've seen it in training." #WorldCup

Despite losing to Japan, Colombia can take some heart from the way they operated with 10 men for long spells.

Meanwhile, there were few positives for Poland to cling on to from their encounter with Senegal, as they made sloppy errors at the back and struggled to get the most from attacking superstar Robert Lewandowski. If they don't improve, it's tough to see them overcoming Los Cafeteros.

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