Falcao and James lead Colombia's provisional World Cup squad

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The Monaco and Bayern stars will be key to the Cafeteros' chances in Russia, while the likes of Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina also make the cut

Monaco sharpshooter Radamel Falcao and Bayern Munich star James Rodriguez will spearhead Colombia's efforts in the 2018 World Cup after earning a place in the nation's provisional 35-man squad. 

James took the top scorer award while representing the Cafeteros in 2014 when they reached the quarter-finals in Brazil, eventually going out to the hosts. 

His form at that tournament convinced Real Madrid to sign the playmaker from Monaco, before leaving for the Bundesliga on loan in 2017.

And four years later the No. 10 will again be at the forefront, as coach Jose Pekerman picked his preliminary list ahead of Russia. 

Falcao, meanwhile, missed out on the last World Cup in heart-breaking fashion after rupturing his cruciate ligaments just days ahead of the tournament. 

Having struggled post-injury in spells with Manchester United and Chelsea, however, the forward has returned to his best at Monaco and is certain to be included in the final squad.

There are also call-ups for Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado and Arsenal's David Ospina, who will similarly play their second World Cup. 

The likes of Yerry Mina, Davinson Sanchez and Juan Fernando Quintero, meanwhile, will hope to make the cut and debut at the finals in June. 

Colombia preliminary World Cup squad: 

Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (Deportivo Cali), Iván Arboleda (Banfield), José Fernando Cuadrado (Once Caldas)

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Defenders: Cristian Zapata (Milan), Dávinson Sánchez (Tottenham), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Óscar Murillo (Pachuca), Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors), Johan Mojica (Girona ), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), William Tesillo (Santa Fe), Bernardo Espinosa (Girona), Stefan Medina (Monterrey), Farid Díaz (Olimpia)

Midfielders: Wílmar Barrios (Boca Juniors), Carlos Sánchez (Espanyol), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), José Izquierdo (Brighton Hove & Albion), James Rodríguez (Bayern Múnich), Giovanni Moreno (Shanghái Shenhua), Abel Aguilar (Deportivo Cali), Mateus Uribe (América), Yimmi Chará (Júnior), Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate), Edwin Cardona (Boca Juniors), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Gustavo Cuéllar (Flamengo), Sebastián Pérez (Boca Juniors)

Forwards: Radamel Falcao García (Mónaco), Duván Zapata (Sampdoria), Miguel Borja (Palmeiras), Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Luis Fernando Muriel (Sevilla), Teófilo Gutiérrez (Júnior)

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