Colombia vs England Preview

Colombia vs England Preview
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Image from cricketrank.com
The Round of Sixteen continues and it has been just as fantastic and exciting as the rest of the World Cup. Colombia, as Group H winners, face England and it should be a gripping game as both sides won't want to go out without a fight and desperately restore some national pride. Both sides won twice in the group stages and lost one game but unlike England, Colombia are missing their star player, James Rodriguez after he suffered an injury in the early stages of the match against Senegal. England claim to have a fully fit squad which all trained on Monday with Dele Alli and John Stones back to full fitness and Fabian Delph returning after the birth of his newborn child. 

England, when facing Belgium in the final game of the Group Stages, made eight changes to the lineup that faced Panama with the likes of Kane, Sterling, Henderson and Lingard all being replaced by Vardy, Rashford, Dier and Delph to name a few. The 1-0 defeat to  Belgium may have given England an easier route to the semi-finals with either Switzerland or Sweden their quater-final foes if Colombia are knocked out. The Three Lions should return to the lineup that faced Panama as it is their strongest XI and should be too much for a J-Rod lacking Colombia. 

COLOMBIA PREDICTED LINEUP:
GOALKEEPER: David Ospina
Has been very good this campaign despite an average season for Arsenal. He has made some vital saves for the Colombians and will not be replaced. 

DEFENDERS: Johan Mojica, Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, Santiago Arias
They have been solid all campaign and Mina has scored two goals already in the Group Stages. Davinson Sanchez has been sensational at the back and almost single handedly kept Senegal at bay. 

MIDFIELDERS: Carlos Sanchez, Matheus Uribe, Jose Izquierdo, Juan Cuadrado, Juan Quintero
Sanchez was impeccable at the back against Senegal after coming back from suspension. Uribe was also solid defensively and will keep his place. James will be out of the squad so Brighton's Izquierdo should come in as he knows how to play against Premier League footballers. Cuadrado and Quintero have been excellent so far as well and will start. 

FORWARD: Radamel Falcao
He may only have one goal so far at the World Cup but he leads from the front much like Kane and will keep his place as captain. 

Image from buildlineup.com
ENGLAND PREDICTED LINEUP:
GOALKEEPER: Jordan Pickford
He should keep his place in the starting lineup as he suits the system and made some good saves against Belgium. He has been criticised for the goal against Belgium but this is unfair and should be ignored. 

DEFENDERS: Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Ashley Young
Alexander-Arnold was outstanding against Belgium but Trippier has been one of England's best player all campaign. Walker, Stones and Maguire have been solid at the back and should return to the lineup. Danny Rose was decent in attack but got caught out all to often by Januzaj and Hazard and will do so by better players like Cuadrado or Quintero, so Young should come in. 

MIDFIELD THREE: Jordan Henderson, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jesse Lingard
Loftus-Cheek tried hard but to no avail against Belgium. With better midfielders around him, he should return to the form that got him into the side. Lingard and Henderson's energy in the midfield will be vital for breaking down Colombia. 

FORWARDS: Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane
Rashford and Vardy did well but not enough to keep out Kane and Sterling. Kane is still the top goalscorer at the World Cup at the time of writing and is guaranteed to lead the line as well as the squad. 

Image from buildlineup.com

Without James Rodriguez, Colombia are not really the same side and don't have the quality to beat England. Kane will want to get the golden boot for the World Cup and this might boost his chances. 

PREDICTED SCORE: 0-3

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