Otkrytiye Arena – World Cup Round of 16
Group H winners Colombia play Group G runners-up England in Moscow in the final match of the round of 16 at the World Cup finals. The Colombians are looking to reach their second quarter-final in succession while England will try to reach the last eight for the first time since 2006.
There have been five matches between Colombia and England previously, with the latter remaining unbeaten against the South Americans. England won the only match between the teams at a major tournament, with goals from David Beckham and Darren Anderton giving them a 2-0 victory at the World Cup in France in 1998.
Colombia are sweating on the fitness of star man James Rodriguez after he hobbled off during their 1-0 win over Senegal. That will be music to the ears of Gareth Southgate’s England, who could welcome back Dele Alli. The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder picked up a knock in the opening match of the tournament against Tunisia. Defender John Stones picked up an injury against Belgium and is the only other concern.
Colombia v England Preview and Predictions
Colombia bounced back marvellously from losing their first game at the World Cup to Japan, beating Poland and Senegal without conceding a goal to finish top of Group H. But Jose Pekerman’s team start their round of 16 tie as underdogs at 3/1 to win in normal time or 8/5 to progress. That may partially due to injury concerns over James Rodriguez, whose importance to the team is clear for all to see.
The optimism in England was dampened a little by the defeat to Belgium in their final group game, but Southgate will still be quietly confident of bouncing back with a win. At 23/20 to win inside 90 minutes, the English are favourites. Prior to losing to the Red Devils, they had been unbeaten under Southgate, but their defensive frailty remains a concern having not kept a clean sheet in the group stage.
Harry Kane remains top of the scoring charts at the World Cup and another strike in Tuesday’s match would edge him closer towards the Golden Boot. The 24-year-old netted five times in England’s first two games, before being rested against Belgium. He’s at a tempting 3/1 to be the first scorer against the Colombians.
Harry Kane to score first at 3/1
Kane is in fine form and his immense hunger to not only progress as far as possible with England, but also win the Golden Boot is clear.
Colombia +1 at 4/5
Colombia have only lost three of their last 16 games and each of those have only been by a one goal margin.