By sportswriter Michael Place MOSCOW
Russia (Xinhua) -- What to look out
for at the FIFA World Cup on Thursday.
● Senegal seeking
more from Mane
Needing only a draw
for his team to advance to the round of 16, Senegal coach Aliou
Cisse is likely to opt for a more defensive formation than the
4-3-3 he used in the 2-2 draw with Japan on Sunday. Cisse has
called for more from Sadio Mane, despite the Liverpool forward’s
goal against the Blue Samurai. “He can do better, but [against
Japan] he was better than against Poland and he needs to do
better against Colombia,” Cisse told reporters.
Colombia, who must
win to progress without depending on others, will have Carlos
Sanchez available after the midfielder’s one-game suspension.
● Can Robert
Lewandowski break his duck?
Poland have already
been eliminated but will be looking to salvage something in
their last group match against Japan. Motivation will be
particularly strong for Robert Lewandowski, who is still
searching for his first World Cup goal. At 29, there is no
guarantee that the Bayern Munich striker will get another chance
in football’s premier tournament.
The Poles will be up
against a Japan side that have impressed so far with their pace
and attacking mindset. A draw will be enough for Akira Nishino’s
men to advance but they will be looking for a win to finish top
of the group.
● Can Kane
continue his scoring run?
With England’s place
in the next round already assured, manager Gareth Southgate
could make changes to the team that beat Panama 6-1 in Nizhny
Novgorod. However one man almost certain to start is striker
Harry Kane, as he aims to become the first Englishman since Gary
Lineker in 1986 to win the World Cup Golden Boot. Kane already
has five goals to his name, one more than Cristiano Ronaldo and
forward could be joined in the starting lineup by club teammate
Dele Alli, who missed the Panama clash with a thigh strain.
Harry Maguire and Kieran Trippier face fitness tests after
picking up minor injuries against the Central American side.
● Club rivalries
pursuit of the Golden Boot, another interesting subplot to the
match in Kaliningrad will be the personal duels between several
club teammates. Twelves members of Belgium’s squad play in the
Premier League and teammates who could be direct opponents on
Thursday include: Manchester City’s John Stones and Kevin de
Bruyne; Tottenham’s Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen; Gary Cahill
and Eden Hazard; and Phil Jones and Romelu Lukaku.
However while Kane
is expected to start, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has hinted
he may leave several key players on the bench, including De
Bruyne and Vertonghen, who are on yellow cards. Lukaku could
also be rested after picking up a slight ankle injury in the
team’s 5-2 win over Tunisia.
● Will Panama or
Tunisia bow out on a high?
Both teams will be
going home after their duel in Saransk on Thursday. But pride
will be on the line as they aim to notch their first points of
the tournament. Tunisia are seeking their second ever World Cup
win; their last coming in the 1978 finals when they overcame
Mexico 3-1. Panama have never tasted victory at the World Cup.
Wahbi Khazri has struggled to make an impact in Russia so far
but could have more opportunities against a Panama defence that
let in six goals against England on Sunday. Panama will again
look to veteran striker Blas Perez to provide their chief