World Cup 2018: England Team vs Colombia, Predicted XI
“It's coming home!” – If you are near any England fan, you would have heard this for sure! There is nothing else they have to say right now and looking at the teams who have been knocked out, they have all the right to expect their side to go all the way.
However, that clearly means that they are taking Colombia and other sides very lightly. This is the exact attitude that has got the Three Lions knocked out of the World Cup and Euro on multiple occasions.
Gareth Southgate needs to make sure that his players are taking it match-by-match and not thinking of glory right now. They still have a long way to go and cannot afford any slip-ups.
The only time England managed to beat a top-tier team in the knockout stages at the World Cup was back in 1966! This time, they have no one on their side of the draw and will only be meeting a top team in the finals, should they make it.
England Team News
England's only injury worry was Dele Alli and he is back to full fitness. He has been training with the squad regularly and is in contention to start vs Colombia.
Southgate now has a tough decision to make – Dele Alli or Ruben Loftus-Cheek? The Chelsea youngster has been impressive in all the games so far and it would be unfair to drop him. But at the same time, not picking Alli despite him being fit would be seen as a big gamble!
England XI and Formation
Speaking in his pre-Colombia press conference, Southgate said, “The point I was making was it’s 10 years since we won a knockout fixture. For this team, it’s a brilliant opportunity to go beyond where more experienced teams have gone before. They’re relishing that chance.”
“We’re viewing the game as one with an opponent we really respect. They’ve got really good players, and will have lots of supporters in the stadium. I went to two of their matches in Brazil and it was a real carnival atmosphere in the stadium. You want to be involved in this type of match. The lads have the chance to write their own stories now.” added the manager.