Colombia Match Preview: England
Group H winners Colombia will take on group G runners-up England in the final game of the round of 16 stage of the tournament.
With two wins in their final games in the group, Colombia have begun to pick up momentum scoring four goals in two games. Both in which defender Yerry Mina has found the net.
However, their victory over Senegal came at an expesnse. Their star man James Rodriguez was forced off injured just 31 minutes into the first half. The Bayern Munich attacker was deemed unfit to start in their first group game against Japan with a calf injury but played 90 minutes against Poland, where he was outstanding. It is yet to be confirmed whether he will feature against England but it’s looking increasingly likely.
Colombia boss Jose Pekermen remains positive about his influential playmaker.
We had good news after the medical tests and after the MRI scan I knew he doesn’t have a serious injury so we will see how he feels and as always we hope of course he will be able to play for the following games.
If James Rodriguez does not start his likely replacement will be Luis Muriel, who came on for him against Senegal. Pekerman praised his performance in their previous game.
He’s able to change the pace. He’s technically gifted. He’s really fast and can play well with teammates. He brings many skills to the pitch so of course we take him into account and we think he will be able to coordinate well if he has to play.
Other than that there are no fresh injury concerns for Colombia and are likely to name an unchanged side.
Possible Colombia line-up
(4,2,3,1) Ospina, Arias, Mina, D.Sanchez, Mojica, C.Sanchez, Uribe, Cuadrado, Rodriguez, Quintero, Falcao.
Both sides have shown in this tournament how impressively they can attack, however, this will be a test of both defences. England’s preferred back-line are yet to face an team with the attacking presence of Colombia. This will be England’s first real test but without Rodriguez, Colombia may struggle.
Colombia 1-2 England