The final World Cup last 16 tie will see Colombia take on England and it’s no exaggeration to say that both nations will have an eye on making the final. They are on the easier side of the draw and know that this is an ideal opportunity to make history. The South Americans look set to be without star man James Rodriguez which means England will approach the game as favourites.
Colombia made hard work of qualifying to the knockout stages but ended up winning the group. They lost to Japan, although they played 87 minutes with ten men, before beating Poland in style. However, they needed a late goal from Yerry Mina to progress, with a goal that took them from third to first in Group H.
Meanwhile, it’s been tough to judge the Three Lions. They have played good football, against weak opposition, before resting players and losing to Belgium, who did the same. However, it’s a defeat that many think was worthwhile as it’s left them on the easier side of the draw, avoiding the likes of Brazil, Uruguay and France. With an exciting team full of youngsters led by Harry Kane who is one of the best strikers in Europe, they will understandably feel they have a chance.
Here we will give you Colombia vs England betting tips, look at where the game will be won, the key players and a Colombia vs England prediction for the last 16 clash.
Our Colombia vs England Prediction: Colombia 1-2 England
Our Colombia vs England prediction tips is for England to just about edge what should be an entertaining game between two attack-minded sides.
Whilst we don’t know the teams yet, you really can’t emphasise just how big a miss Rodriguez will be for his country, and it seems highly unlikely he will feature. The Bayern Munich man is the one who makes them tick, who opens up defences and who has been their talisman for the past four years. They still have quality players in their side, such as Juan Quintero, Juan Cuadrado and Falcao but they will all need to deliver.
Yet, they aren’t always consistent and England will be delighted Rodriguez is out. Meanwhile, they will be boosted further by the return of Dele Alli who adds great pace, movement and technical ability to the midfield and final third. With Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard also in the side, they will expect to create chances against a Colombian side that have looked vulnerable in Russia at times.
Our recommended tip – BTTS
It’s that combination of Rodriguez’s absence and England’s attacking talent that makes us think that they will edge this encounter.
However, it’s a close game to call and you could make a strong case for the South Americans emerging victorious. Therefore, we think the best bet for punters will be to back both teams to score. England have conceded in all three group games and whilst you can forget the final match against Belgium as it involved two weakened sides, the fact they conceded against Tunisia and Panama is concerning. Neither side boasts the attack that Colombia have and they certainly have enough to get on the scoresheet.
Similarly, Colombia haven’t looked convincing themselves. They were opened up by a routine long ball against Japan that saw them concede a penalty and Carlos Sanchez get sent off. Even though they were good against Poland, those defensive worries were on show against Senegal but they somehow managed to keep a clean sheet. Either way, there’s no doubt England have more going forward than any of those sides and Southgate sets them up in an attacking manner, so the goals should flow.
The clash in Moscow will be the sixth meeting between the nations and it’s a fixture that England haven’t lost yet. As well as that, they won the only previous World Cup fixture which was back in France ’98.
As for recent performances, as mentioned it has been a real mixed bag from Colombia. In fairness, the opener against Japan was always going to be tough after they lost a man and a goal so early and they did rally initially before deservedly losing. Then, they were superb against Poland, playing at their free-flowing past with Rodriguez key to that victory. Yet, it wasn’t backed up and they looked nervous against Senegal in a must-win game and even though they got the points, from a set-piece goal, they looked weak defensively and failed to control possession as you’d expect.
Whereas, England are the hardest side to judge. Performances against Tunisia and Panama were pleasing, particularly the latter who they thumped 6-1. However neither of those nations are the strongest but with qualification secured by the second game, Southgate changed almost his entire team against Belgium. They were poor on that night and it showed they perhaps don’t have the depth but it can’t be a true reflection of where they are. Either way, the players will be confident but this is the first real test for the Three Lions.
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Players to watch – Juan Quintero & Harry Kane
Rodriguez is the main playmaker for Colombia but in his absence Quintero will have to step up. He is supremely talented, as he has shown in Russia, and will need to show that against England. He will be given license to roam, to find pockets and it will be his responsibility to pick the key passes that can open up a weak defence. England have an attacking midfield so he should get space and the Colombians will be looking for the 25-year old to make a big mark on the game.
The South Americans will know who the main man is for England – skipper Kane. Even if he doesn’t play well, he has great goalscoring instincts and finds the right position and currently leads the way for the golden boot. England have a lot of attacking talent but Kane is the man who finishes off the move and makes the telling contribution. He will have it tough against Spurs teammate Davinson Sanchez but if England are to be successful in Moscow their star striker will be key.