Verdict: England Win
Best Odds: 11/10
On Tuesday night, Colombia and England go head-to-head for a place in the last 16 of the World Cup. Colombia made the last eight last time out, but the Three Lions have not played in the World Cup quarter-final since 2006. It is a massive game for both teams.
Colombia recovered from a defeat in their opening group games to defeat Poland and Senegal top Group H. The highly-rated South American team have been on a run of unconvincing form of late, as they failed to win any of their three warm-up games heading into Russia 2018.
Jose Pekerman’s side’s recent record in the international game illustrates their unpredictability, as the South American team has won just four of their last 12 outings. However, a big plus for Colombia of late has been their defensive solidity, as they have four clean sheets from their last five games, conceding just two goals in the process.
The big team news for Colombia is that star man James Rodriguez is still a significant fitness doubt for this clash. Sevilla forward Luis Muriel could replace the Bayern Munich star. Abel Aguilar is also expected to miss out due to injury too.
England recorded wins over Tunisia and Panama in Group G before a 1-0 defeat against Belgium in their last game. In truth, both teams fielded weakened starting line-ups, so the game was not a fair reflection on either side.
England headed into that Belgium game unbeaten in 12 international matches, including clashes against Germany, Brazil, Italy and the Netherlands. The loss to Roberto Martinez’s team also halted a four-match winning run for Gareth Southgate’s team.
The Three Lions had also been relatively prolific in front of goal of late, scoring at least two goals in four of their last five matches. Star striker Harry Kane is the favourite to win the Golden Boot following his five goals in the group stages. The Tottenham striker is likely to be the Three Lions biggest attacking threat.
As previously mentioned, England boss Southgate made eight changes to his starting line-up last time out. The likes of Harry Kane, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson and Kyle Walker amongst others are set to return to the starting eleven.
This game is hard to predict, as Colombia are a dangerous team on their day, while England are a tough team to beat when at full strength. I can see Gareth Southgate’s side recording a narrow victory in an entertaining contest.
Verdict: England Win
Best odds: 11/10