Japan, Colombia, and Senegal will battle for 2 spots in the knockout stage at the World Cup — here's what each team needs to happen

Getty ImagesGroup H is set to bring a wild end to the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.

Group H has featured some of the most surprising and exciting football of the 2018 World Cup thus far.

Heading into the final day of the group stage, three teams – Japan, Colombia, and Senegal – are all still in control of their destinies as they battle for two spots up for grabs in the knockout round.

With so much at stake for each team and simultaneous matches of Japan vs. Poland and Colombia vs. Senegal on Thursday, Group H looks set to provide a thrilling finale to the group stage of the tournament.

Here is how each team could advance to the knockout round.

Chances of advancing based on FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index ratings.


Here are the standings for Group H after two rounds.

Group H is wide open right now. Only Poland, the favourite to win the group before the tournament began, has been eliminated, but Robert Lewandowski and company will still have the opportunity to play spoiler against Japan.


Japan

Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Chances of advancing: 81%

Scenarios to advance:

  • Japan advances if it wins or draws with Poland.
  • If Japan loses to Poland, Japan can still advance if …

    • Senegal beats Colombia
    • Colombia beats Senegal, and Japan is ahead of Senegal on tiebreakers (goal differential, goals scored, fair play)

One thing to know: Japan’s comeback draw against Senegal was one of the most thrilling World Cup matches so far and put Samurai Blue in a position to advance, as long as the team can secure a point from Poland.


Colombia

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Chances of advancing: 61%

Scenarios to advance:

  • Colombia advances with a win over Senegal.
  • If Colombia draws with Senegal, Colombia will still advance if Poland beats Japan.

One thing to know: James Rodriguez may have won the Golden Boot in 2014, but it’s his passing that has been the highlight of the Colombian side so far in this World Cup. If he can set up his teammates a few more times against Senegal, Colombia will be through to the knockout stage.


Senegal

Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Chances of advancing: 58%

Scenarios to advance:

  • Senegal advances with a win over or a draw with Colombia.
  • If Senegal loses to Colombia, Senegal can still advance if Japan loses to Poland and Senegal is ahead of Japan on tiebreakers (goal differential, goals scored, fair play)

One thing to know: While Senegal can even advance with a loss, Colombia still is given a better chance to advance, as it is fairly heavily favoured over Senegal heading into its match on Thursday.


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