The Three Lions have been given a pretty decent route to a potential FIFA World Cup Semi-Final. With Colombia a strong yet beatable side and either Sweden or Switzerland waiting afterward, it’s easy to see why excitement is building. Will the classically simplistic viewpoint pay off for once for England, though?
The Belgium game can be mitigated in large to the team selection. With so many changes made, it was expected that the game would be tight. This game, though, will see no such risks taken. Harry Kane will obviously return to the top, taking on a former (but still top quality) great in Falcao in the Colombia forward line.
If England can use their pace on the break to get in behind the Colombian defence, and help keep the rapid Jose Izquierdo and Juan Cuadrado pinned back, England could really do something here.
The South Americans are reliant more or less on the fitness of star man James Rodriguez. While Colombia are a fine team, he is their creative talisman and their demeanour transforms with him being on the pitch.
Given his fitness issues, it’s likely he won’t be at 100% if he plays. That could harm Colombia, and may make their hopes of progressing to the Quarter Finals that bit harder to get to. With Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez so strong in defence, though, Colombia know they can keep it tight, play on the break and hope Falcao can pinch a winner.
England to go through – but not by a huge amount. Colombia are a good team, and any ideas of this being an ‘easy’ route might be questioned here. However, an early goal against for Colombia might test their resolve, and would be England best’ chance to avoid being another surprise knockout.