While England progressed through their group with minimum incident, including a game with Belgium that told us nothing about the two sides, it took a closely fought match against Senegal for their last sixteen opponents Colombia to progress. With the two teams having their best strengths in attack, the emphasis of both managers will undoubtedly be using these too cover up any weaknesses in other areas.
Colombia's attacking talent is spearheaded by one of football's true finishers in Monaco's Radamel Falcao, and their talismanic forward looks like he is finding his feet in the tournament, something England manager Gareth Southgate will be anxious to ensure doesn't cause his side to once again fail. Falcao is 37/13 with Unibet to score at any time, and 18/1 with Betfair to score two or more goals.
England's own frontman Harry Kane is still leading the tournament's scoring charts, despite his absence against Belgium. He will be anxious to repeat his heroics that enabled England to smoothly progress through the group stages, but as the opponents get tougher, the Spurs man will know that he will have to snatch up any chances that do come his way if his side as to make the next stage. Kane is 3/1 with Coral to score the game's first goal, and 7/1 with Betfair to score two or more goals.
Injury to James Rodriguez in their final game against Senegal, has left the Colombian's with a selection headache ahead of their test against England. The Bayern Munich forward entered the competition injured, and although Colombian manager Jose Pekerman has given his superstar every opportunity, he may just be forced to leave the 2014 Fifa Puskas Award for best goal of the year winner, on the bench.
They do still have plenty of talent though in his absence, with Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado making the difference in a 1-0 win over Senegal, and alongside Falcao, the two look the most threating to England's chances. Pacey, and with a directness which could harm England down their left side, Cuadrado could be a real threat.
Also crucial to the Colombian side is central defender Davinson Sanchez, who will be facing a number of his Spurs teammate's. None more so than coming up against Harry Kane, who will give him the game of his life. Although there were some last-ditch challenges, he was more than capable of looking after a Senegal side containing Liverpool's Sadio Mane. If Colombia are to have any chance of beating England, they will need him to be the difference at the back. Davinson Sanchez to win man of the match is 25/1 with Betfair.
Colombia vs England World Cup Betting Offer!
- Harry Kane 50/1 to Score - Colombia vs England (Available until 3rd July 7pm)
18+. New UK+IRE customers only. Certain deposit types and cash out excluded. Winning bets paid in cash at normal price. Enhanced odds paid in £5 free bets credited within 24 hours, valid for 4 days, stake not returned. Losing £5 free bet excludes Coral Connect customers. T&Cs Apply. Visit Coral & Claim Offer!
Although England go into the game as slight favourites, their lack of wins in knockout rounds (their last win was against Ecuador in 2006) will leave them more than anxious against a dangerous Colombia. With Southgate leaving a number of key men on the bench against Belgium, those he left out will be well rested ahead of the tie, with many seeing England being too strong in a number of key areas.
While England have relied on Kane for goals so far, there has also been a number of impressive performances by the squad, especially from set plays, and this has been seen as a key weapon. Southgate has pinpointed this as one of the areas that his side have worked on leading into the tournament, and the hard work looks to have paid off so far. With set-pieces playing a crucial role in almost all the games at this year's World Cup, expect them to make a huge difference in this fixture.
Key to this weapon has been Leicester's Harry Maguire, with his height and stature a real test for defending sides, expect the defender to get chances against Colombia and is 16/1 with Coral to score at any time.
HEAD TO HEAD
Colombia 0-4 (International Friendly) 20th May 1970
England 1-1 Colombia (Rous Cup) 24th May 1988
England 0-0 Colombia (International Friendly) 6th September 1995
Colombia 0-2 England (FIFA World Cup) 26th June 1998
England 3-2 Colombia (International Friendly) 31st May 2005
CURRENT MATCH ODDS (BEST PRICED ODDS)
Colombia: 16/5 - Visit Boylesports!
Draw: 11/5 - Visit Betfred!
England: 23/20 - Visit Betfair!
Colombia vs England World Cup Betting Offer!
- 40/1 England to beat Colombia (Available until 7pm 3rd July 2018)
New Customers can get England at an enhanced 40/1 to beat Colombia. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets. Full T&Cs Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware. Visit Betfair & Claim Offer!
The game between Colombia and England looks the tightest of the last sixteen fixtures, with both sides having strength in attack and weaknesses in defence. The two teams will see the chance of making the final tantalisingly within reach thanks to a fortunate draw, the pressure to get through the first test may cause some nerves. The game may come down to a set-piece or penalty to separate the two sides. England's strength is in this key area, and expect them to make it through their toughest test so far.
MY RECOMMENDED BETS
- Harry Kane to score from outside the box: 14/1 - Visit Coral!
- Harry Maguire to be the last goalscorer: 40/1 - Visit Betfred!
- England to win 2-1: 10/1 - Visit Betfair!
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (21:30 2nd July 2018) and are subject to change.
18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days. Plus a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. T&Cs Apply, See Below. Please Gamble ResponsiblyClick to Claim