Date: Tuesday July 3rd
Match Odds: England +110 / Colombia +305 / Draw +220
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
England is the rather big betting favorite in this knockout stage match, but the main reason may be that Colombia will likely be without its best player. Bayern Munich striker James Rodriguez is injured and it does not look as he will be facing the Three Lions.
England lost their last group match, but finishing 2nd in their group actually means they have an easier road to the finals. With Spain being stunned by Russia in the last 16 there is no world-class power in the half of the draw that the Three Lions are in.
The winner of this match will advance to the quarterfinals and face the winner of the Sweden vs. Switzerland match.
In the three all-time meetings between these teams England has won twice and played to one draw. They faced off in the group stage in the 1998 World Cup where the Three Lions won 2-0.
Columbia won their group despite being shocked in their first match falling to Japan. They registered clean sheets in their last two group matches, both wins, and their defense will be big in this match, not only because Rodriguez is out, but because they will be facing England striker Harry Kane, who is in the lead for the Golden Boot for the Tournament’s top scorer with five goals.
While in the round of 16 this may be the first major test for England. They faced two inferior teams in group play in a tight 2-1 win over Tunisia and they crushed Panama 6-1. In the Belgium match many key players for both squads, including Kane, did not play because both teams had already advanced.
Strikers Kane and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling lead the attack up front for the England, who will use a 3-5-2 formation. England has played well in the midfield and Kane has dazzled, he had a hat trick in the blowout win over Panama, and they will test the Colombia defensive backfield, which has looked great in not conceding a goal in their last two matches.
Jose Izquierdo will likely take Rodriquez’s spot as the lead striker in Colombia’s 4-2-3-1 formation. Radamel Falcao, who scored a goal in group play, has to help out up front and the midfield has a tough task facing the five midfielders of England and they must play well pushing the ball up front and also looking for and defending the counter-attack.
Besides Rodriguez MF Abel Aguilar is also banged up and will not play in this match.
England uses a five MF formation, but they still have to face a speedy Colombia midfield that has played well in the Tournament.
Last Three Matches
6/19/18 Colombia 1 Japan 2
6/24/18 Poland 0 Columbia 3
6/28/18 Senegal 0 Colombia 1
6/18/18 Tunisia 1 England 2
6/24/18 England 6 Panama 1
6/28/18 England 0 Belgium 1
Prediction: Not an easy pick in this round of 16 match with Rodriguez out and England not playing a great team that has a full squad. With their big gun out look for Colombia to play a more defensive match, but like the one facing Japan they will have issues. Kane and company will have their chances and the midfield will play well and the Three Lions will win by a score of 2-1 and advance in Russia.