Colombia Vs England Preview: James Rodriguez injury could hinder South Americans' chances
Written by: Neelav Chakravarti
Los Cafeteros will be looking to go past a talented and young Three Lions squad in their upcoming Round of 16 fixture.
Group H toppers Colombia know that they have a talented outfit, but they seem to lack inspiration whenever without talisman James Rodriguez. The former Monaco midfielder might miss the match against England due to injury, but Jose Pekerman has got an able deputies in Radamel Falcao and Juan Quintero.
Meanwhile, the Group G runners-up know that they have a very young and hungry squad led by a young skipper in Harry Kane. After a long time, the European nation finally looks solid and confident at an international tournament.
About the teams
Pekerman will be heavily dependent on David Ospina to keep a clean-sheet against a strong English attack consisting of the likes of Kane and Raheem Sterling. Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez will be expected to keep the backline solid and maybe nail a goal.
Quintero will need to provide the creativity required to make a killer pass for the likes of Falcao. Rodriguez is in a race to recover from his injury. If he returns, he could have a free role. Meanwhile, Juan Cuadrado will be hovering down the right flank adding width to the team.
Jordan Pickford is England's obvious starter in goal and he has been pretty decent throughout the group stages. Gareth Southgate will be relying heavily on John Stones to play the sweeper role from the middle of the defense with Kyle Walker assisting him.
Jordan Henderson will provide the brick wall in front of the backline, with Sterling and Kane expected to lead the attack. Jesse Lingard will play in front of the defensive midfielders and behind Sterling and Kane.
The match will take place at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on Tuesday. The stadium has a 44,190 capacity. This is the last match to be played at the stadium. It had hosted four matches during the group stage.
Colombia: Ospina, Arias, Mina, Sanchez, Mojica, Uribe, Sanchez, Quintero, Muriel, Cuadrado, Falcao.
England: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Young, Henderson, Loftus-Cheek, Lingard, Sterling, Kane.
What to Expect
The probable absence of Rodriguez has given England an upper hand. The match could be a highly entertaining one, with both teams having amazing attacking players in their ranks. The Three Lions are expected to have the majority of the possession and Colombia will look to hit them on the counter.
Khel Now Predicts
Colombia 1-2 England
Published: Mon Jul 02, 2018 08:06 PM IST