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Preview: Colombia vs. England - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides predicted lineups, team news and a full match preview of the last-16 clash between Colombia and England at the 2018 World Cup.

England will bid to reach the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup when they face Colombia in the last-16 stage of the competition on Tuesday night.

The Three Lions suffered a 1-0 defeat to Belgium in their final Group G match to finish in second spot, while Colombia collected six points from their three matches to top Group H at this summer's competition.


Colombia's Radamel Falcao reacts during the match against Japan on June 19, 2018© Reuters

Much has been made of England's perceived straightforward route to the final of the 2018 World Cup, but Colombia will also feel that they have an unbelievable chance to make a challenge for the trophy this summer.

The South Americans started their 2018 World Cup with a 2-1 defeat to Japan, but beat Poland and Senegal in their next two Group H matches to ensure that they would qualify for the last-16 stage of the competition.

La Tricolor actually reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 competition before losing narrowly to hosts Brazil, but they have never been past the last eight of the biggest international football competition.

The winner of Switzerland and Sweden will be waiting for either Colombia or England in the quarter-finals of the competition, with the likes of Brazil and France on the opposite side of the draw.

Jose Pekerman's side did not exactly impress in the group stages of this summer's competition, but they have now not conceded in their last two, and will be backed by a vocal support at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow.

Colombia have actually never beaten England, but they have not locked horns at the World Cup since France 1998, when the Three Lions recorded a 2-0 victory in the group stage of the competition.

The South Americans are unbeaten in eight games against European opposition since Pekerman took charge, meanwhile, and have scored in each of their last eight World Cup fixtures.

While England will be feeling confident about their chances of making the quarter-finals of the competition, there is no question that Colombia will head into the last-16 contest full of belief.

Recent form: LWW
Recent form (all competitions): WDDLWW


England's John Stones celebrates scoring their first goal in the match against Panama on June 24, 2018© Reuters

England's route to the 2018 World Cup final has already been mapped out, and it is difficult to imagine that the Three Lions will have a better chance of making the final of this particular competition for a significant period of time.

As mentioned above, the winner of the last-16 fixture between Colombia and England will take on Sweden or Switzerland in the quarter-finals, before a semi-final against either Croatia or hosts Russia.

The likes of Spain, Germany and Argentina have all been eliminated from the competition, while tournament favourites Brazil have been drawn on the opposite side.

England started their Group G campaign with a 2-1 win over Tunisia on June 18, before thumping Panama 6-1 to book their spot in the first knockout round. As it transpired, the defeat to Belgium might have turned out to be a blessing in disguise, but Japan would have surely been more favourable opponents than Colombia at this stage.

For all of the confidence surrounding the England camp, it is worth remembering that the Three Lions have won just two of their last eight World Cup knockout matches, and have not beaten South American opposition in the latter stages of the famous tournament since overcoming Ecuador in 2006.

England's record against South American opposition at the World Cup is played 17, won eight, drawn three and lost six. They will again be looking to Harry Kane for goals, with the Tottenham Hotspur forward already finding the back of the net on five occasions at this summer's tournament.

Kane will need help from his supporting cast, however, if Gareth Southgate's young Lions are to progress in Russia. The eyes of the nation will be on events in Moscow on Tuesday night.

Recent form: WWL
Recent form (all competitions): DWWWWL

Team News

James Rodriguez in action for Colombia on May 26, 2018© Reuters

Colombia are still sweating on the fitness of key playmaker James Rodriguez, who continues to struggle with a calf problem. The 26-year-old has travelled with the squad to Moscow, however, and it has been suggested that Pekerman will leave the decision until the final minute.

Tottenham Hotspur's Davinson Sanchez will again line up in central defence alongside Barcelona's Yerry Mina, while Radamel Falcao will lead the Colombia line as he looks to prove himself against English opposition following a disappointing spell in the Premier League.

Luis Muriel and Carlos Bacca are also attacking options for Colombia, but if James Rodriguez does not make the starting XI, Jefferson Lerma could come into a deeper midfield position.

As for England, Southgate will make wholesale changes from the Belgium match.

Dele Alli missed the games against Panama and Belgium through injury, but the Tottenham midfielder is fit for this match, and should start in an attacking midfield area alongside Jesse Lingard.

Fabian Delph was the only player to miss England training on Monday following the birth of his third child, meaning that the likes of Kyle Walker, Jordan Henderson and Ashley Young will also all return.

Raheem Sterling has thus far struggled to make an impact in Russia, but the Premier League title winner should start alongside Kane in the final third of the field.

Colombia possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Arias, Mina, D Sanchez, Mojica; C Sanchez, Uribe, Lerma; Quintero, Falcao, Cuadrado

England possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Maguire, Stones, Walker; Trippier, Lingard, Henderson, Alli, Young; Sterling, Kane

Head To Head

Darren Anderton and David Beckham scored the goals when England recorded a 2-0 win over Colombia in the group stage of the 1998 World Cup.

In total, these two teams have met on five previous occasions, and England are unbeaten. Their last clash was an international friendly back in May 2005, with Michael Owen scoring a hat-trick in a 3-2 success.

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We say: Colombia 1-1 England (England win on penalties)

England might have avoided a real world heavyweight in the round of 16, but there is no question that Colombia can cause Southgate's side problems on Tuesday night. We expect it to be a very tight match in Moscow, with England needing a penalty shootout to book their spot in the quarter-finals.

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Yerry Mina in action for Barcelona on February 11, 2018
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