Soccer

Who will emerge a bigger star — Poland's Robert Lewandowski or Colombia's James Rodriguez?

El capitán de Colombia James Rodríguez celebra uno de sus goles en el Mundial de Brasil 2014 donde fue el máximo artillero.
El capitán de Colombia James Rodríguez celebra uno de sus goles en el Mundial de Brasil 2014 donde fue el máximo artillero. AP

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World Cup group previews

Miami Herald soccer writer Michelle Kaufman breaks down each group in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and selects her top two teams that will advance out of the group stage.

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With the 2018 World Cup in Russia less than a month away, we take a look at Group H, which features two of the most exciting scorers in the game — Poland's Robert Lewandowski and Colombia's James Rodriguez.

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Radamel Falcao could be one of the breakout players for Colombia. Tim Ireland AP Photo

Colombia: James Rodriguez, one of the biggest stars of the 2014 World Cup, is back with his dancing Cafeteros. Colombia reached the quarters four years ago, and tied Brazil and Uruguay in qualifying, so anything’s possible. Radamel Falcao is playing well for Monaco, and defenders Davidson Sanchez (Tottenham) and Yerry Mina (Barcelona) could be breakout players.

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Japan's goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, left, makes a save on a shot taken by Belgium's Romelu Lukaku during a international friendly on Nov. 14, 2017. Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP Photo


Japan: Back for the sixth Cup in a row, Japan is led by Shinji Ozazaki, who was on Leicester’s EPL champion team in 2016. The Japanese rely on Metz goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, and hope to avenge a 4-1 group-round loss to Columbia at the 2014 World Cup.

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Robert Lewandowski of Poland could be one of the leading scorers of the World Cup. Czarek Sokolowski AP Photo

Poland: Robert Lewandowski is one of the top goal scorers in the world with 23 goals in 27 Bayern Munich matches this season. He is difficult to contain, no matter the defensive scheme. Poland is back for the first time in 12 years.

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Lazio's Keita Balde Diao, left, celebrates with his teammate Danilo Cataldi, after scoring, during the Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Fiorentina. Baldo Diao is one of the top players for Senegal. ANSA via AP Riccardo Antimiani

Senegal: This is just the second World Cup for Senegal, but the first was memorable, as they shocked reigning World Cup champion France in the first round of the 2002 Cup and went on to reach the quarterfinals. Watch for Keita Balde Diao (Monaco) and Sadio Mane (Liverpool).

Prediction: Poland and Colombia will advance, but the order is anybody’s guess.

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