Colombia vs England
Competition: 2018 World Cup finals
Date: 3 July 2018
Kick-off: 20:00 CET
The Colombians’ enthusiasm for qualifying for the last 16 has been somewhat dampened by the uncertainty surrounding James Rodríguez. The Cafeteros’ number 10 had to get substituted in their last game versus Senegal, which they won 1-0 thanks to another Yerry Mina goal, his second in Russia. With Rodríguez, Colombia look like a very different team, finding it way easier to create scoring chances. Without him, they have struggled. On Saturday, tests showed that he’s not really injured, it’s a minor problem, but even so, it could prove enough to keep him out of this game. Even if he does play, it’s doubtful he’ll be at his 100%, and he may be running the risk of worsening his situation.
Gareth Southgate knew he would have to face a good deal of criticism if England lost to Belgium, choosing to rest most of his regulars, but after that 1-0 loss he looked confident that he had made the right choice. He wanted to protect key players from injury, plus, he thought it was a great opportunity, with the qualification already secured, to give game time to players who hadn’t featured yet in the finals, or had done so for just a few minutes. Finishing second, meant that they would be facing Colombia in the round of 16, instead of Japan. According to reports, Dele Alli will return to the starting lineup, with England playing with the same 11 who started against Tunisia, in their group stage opener.
Previous five matches:
Senegal vs Colombia 0-1
Poland vs Colombia 0-3
Colombia vs Japan 1-2
Egypt vs Colombia 0-0
Colombia vs Australia 0-0
England vs Belgium 0-1
England vs Panama 6-1
Tunisia vs England 1-2
England vs Costa Rica 2-0
England vs Nigeria 2-1
The winner of this game will face the winner of Sweden vs Switzerland in the quarterfinals.
Colombia vs England: Head to head Stats
Colombia and England have met five times in the past. Four were friendly games, and one was in the 1998 World Cup finals. England won that game, 2-0. Overall, they have three victories over the Colombians, and two games have ended in a draw. Colombia have never beaten England. Total goals, 10-3, obviously for England.
Colombia vs England: Prediction
I expect England to qualify, feeling that they are ready to do something remarkable in World Cup finals, for the first time in years and years.
Colombia vs England: Betting Tips
“England to qualify” is at 1.50. Their win pays 2.10, going up to 3.00 if combined with a clean sheet. I have a 1-0 hunch.