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#WC2018: Rodriguez in for Colombia for crucial Poland match

Sunday, June 24, 2018

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MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Bayern Munich's James Rodriguez, the star of Colombia's march to the quarter-finals four years ago, was included in the starting line-up as the South American side bid to reignite their World Cup campaign against Poland on Sunday.

Rodriguez, who has been suffering from muscle fatigue in his calf, came on for the last 30 minutes of 10-man Colombia's 2-1 opening defeat to Japan that has left them desperate for a win at Kazan Arena if they are to stay on track to claim a place in the last 16.

Rodriguez takes his place on the left of Jose Pekerman's three-man midfield with Jose Quintero, who scored a free kick against Japan, in the middle and Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado expected to provide pace and creativity on the right flank.

Monaco's Radamel Falcao will lead Colombia's hunt for goals.

With Carlos Sanchez suspended following his early sending-off against Japan, Deportivo Cali midfielder Abel Aguilar lines up in central midfield alongside Boca Juniors player Wilmar Barrios.

Against what Pekerman termed a "physical and robust" Poland side, powerfully built Barcelona defender Yerry Mina replaces Oscar Murillo to join Davinson Sanchez at centre-back in the hope of giving maximum cover to goalkeeper David Ospina.

Poland coach Adam Nawalka made four changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Senegal in their opener, Arkadiusz Milik notably dropped to the bench as the Poles go with a three-pronged attack in Piotr Zielinski of Napoli, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Dawid Kownacki.

Starting line-ups for the World Cup Group H match between Poland and Colombia at Kazan Arena (kick-off: 1800 GMT):

Poland (3-4-3- )

Wojciech Szczesny; Lukasz Piszczek, Jan Bednarek, Michal Pazdan; Bartosz Bereszynski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Jacek Goralski, Maciej Rybus; Piotr Zielinski, Robert Lewandowski (capt), Dawid Kownacki

Coach: Adam Nawalka (POL)

Colombia (4-3-2-1)

David Ospina; Santiago Arias, Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, Johan Mojica; Abel Aguilar, Wilmar Barrios; Juan Cuadrado, Juan Quintero, James Rodriguez; Radamel Falcao (capt)

Coach: Jose Pekerman (ARG)

Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX)

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