England permutations and path to Moscow if they beat Colombia today
England permutations and path to Moscow if they beat Colombia today
England captain Harry Kane
04 July, 2018, 00:35
Rodriguez's last goal for Colombia came in an October, 2017, qualifier against Peru.
"We had good news in the result of his medical test", coach Jose Pekermansaid. Our players play in the best clubs, the best leagues, and are used to playing in matches of this size, so nothing will frighten us.
"Maybe the teams who aren't here weren't as strong this time". We always give everything for our country.
Secondly, why are all the Colombian players arguing for a VAR viewing, as though the ref would just change his mind after seeing a slow motion replay of the above?
The legendary late manager's clumsy quote of: "We didn't underestimate them, they were a lot better than we thought", came after a 3-2 win after extra-time in the quarter-final against Cameroon during which England looked destined for the exit until being rescued by a Gary Lineker penalty seven minutes from time.
Meanwhile, the absence of James Rodriguez sees Juan Fernando Quintero step into the starting line-up with Falcao and Juan Cuadrado once again leading the attack for the team in yellow, with their pace and movement a potential problem for England's defence.
Another talking point would be Carlos Sanchez.
Jordan Pickford keeps his place in goal despite some criticism in the media for his part in Adnan Januzaj's victor for Belgium in the final group match.
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Alli, 22, missed England's subsequent group matches with a thigh injury following the victory over Tunisia but he is fit to start tonight's match as Ruben Loftus-Cheek makes way.
English fans reportedly celebrated their side's defeat by Belgium as it supposedly guaranteed them an easier path to the final of the competition, with local media already going into a frenzy about their chances.
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Jessie Lingard has impressed in his midfield role, and his stunning strike against Panama highlighted his class. Colombia may elect to sit back in the opening exchanges, and the pace and ability of the Man United player will be needed if the Three Lions are to break the deadlock early. "We're very self-confident and that will compensate the fact the other team has been able to rest more".
England has been eliminated on penalties at three World Cups - the most of any team - and three European Championships and has only ever won one competitive shootout, back in 1996 against Spain. It should be a close game, with England having the advantage.
What England is trying to do is advance beyond the round of 16 for the first time since 2006, when it reached the quarterfinals.
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