Colombia v England Betting Preview – 03/07/18

Colombia v England Betting Preview – 03/07/18

Colombia

After narrowly beating Senegal last Thursday, Colombia take on Group G runners-up England in the round of 16 on Tuesday evening. The South American’s got off to a poor start in Russia after losing 2-1 to Japan in their tournament opener a fortnight ago, however they followed that disappointing defeat with a strong 3-0 victory over Poland five days later. That convincing performance ignited some much needed confidence within Colombia’s camp and it showed when they took on Senegal in their final group game last week. José Pékerman’s men needed a win to cement their place in the last 16 and that’s exactly what they did thanks to a late goal from defender Yerry Mina.

They now head into this clash against the Three Lions full of confidence, however there are concerns over the fitness of star midfielder James Rodriguez. The Bayern Munich playmaker limped off against Senegal after just 30 minutes, and it’s now feared that he’ll be unable to play a part in this fixture. The 2014 Golden Boot winner started Colombia’s first World Cup game against Japan on the bench after suffering with a calf injury prior to their tournament starting, however he did play an instrumental part in their second game with Poland, providing two assists in their impressive 3-0 win at the Kazan Arena. Columbia will certainly be a weaker outfit should Rodriguez miss this match, which is great news for England but will be absolutely devastating for Colombia. They’ll have to rely on the services of Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado for some creativity in the midfield, but will it be enough to overcome an England side who have so far looked solid in Russia?

England

Group G runners-up England head into this challenging tie with Colombia knowing that only an inch-perfect performance will be good enough if they’re to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup. The Three Lions have not made it beyond the last 16 since 2002, and with the prospect of playing either Switzerland or Sweden in the quarter-finals should they win this match, could very well make it through to the semi’s with two solid performances here. After back to back wins over Tunisia and Panama, Gareth Southgate’s men lost 1-0 to Belgium in Group G’s final fixture last Thursday. Having made nine changes to the side that faced Panama last Sunday, it was abundantly clear that England didn’t want to win that game as it now means a potentially easier run in should they beat Colombia here.

Harry Kane was given a well deserved rest for England’s last match with Belgium so he’ll be fresh and raring to go against the South Americans in this highly anticipated fixture. Kane, who currently tops the list for the Golden Boot with five goals is the obvious threat for England here. The Tottenham front man heads into this game in perfect form having netted 13 goals in his last 10 internationals; he’s also England’s designated penalty taker and when you think of the number of spot kicks that have been awarded in this years tournament and the fact VAR will be in play, a penalty to be awarded in this match seems extremely likely.

There’s something a bit different about England this time, they seem to have more of a cutting edge in front of goal and are a much more attack-minded outfit in that dynamic 5-3-2 formation. They’ll look to attack Colombia from the outset, and should Kane get half a chance in front of goal then it’s hard to look past him scoring. One thing the Three Lions have struggled with in Russia is keeping a clean sheet though, conceding at least one goal in each game so we could definitely see both teams scoring here. After seeing both of Sunday’s games go to extra-time and penalties, we could perhaps envisage the same thing for this match, with England ultimately edging it in the shootout (for once)…

Recommended Bets:

Both teams to score (6/5 with Betway) – BET HERE

Harry Kane anytime (6/5 with SkyBet) – BET HERE

England to win on penalties (9/1 with Bet365) – BET HERE