England sealed qualification comfortably from Group G with victories over Tunisia and Panama, yet Gareth Southgate split opinion with those widespread changes for the 1-0 defeat against Belgium. The result sees England finish second in the group, and whilst they face a trickier tie playing Colombia, they have arguably landed on an ‘easier’ side of the draw should they progress.
Colombia, who risked elimination after an opening game defeat versus Japan, recovered with a comprehensive victory over Poland and a 1-0 win against Senegal. Of the five South American teams to qualify for the tournament, they are among four to progress (Costa Rica were eliminated).
In preparation for the match on Tuesday, we look at the stats behind the teams, and how the match might play out.
England vs Colombia
• England have faced Colombia once before at the World Cup, when they drawn in the same group at France 1998. England would win the match 2-0 with goals from Darren Anderton and David
• England’s Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard are both averaging 3 shots per game. Almost double the amount of Colombia’s highest rated players, Juan Quintero and Radamel Falcao, who are both
• Colombia have kept a clean sheet in 4 out of their last 5 matches, whereas the 1-0 defeat to Belgium was the first time England have failed to score in the last 7 games.
• Colombia are currently ranked 16th in the FIFA world rankings, England are in 12th.
• Jose Pekerman will line his side up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Rodriguez, Quintero and Cuadrado supporting lone forward Falcao.
• Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez will partner Barcelona’s Yerry Mina at centre-half, while Arsenal’s David Ospina will start in goal.
• Carlos Sanchez and Mateus Uribe should continue in central midfield.
• The last time England faced South American opposition in the World Cup was 2014, losing 2-1 to Uruguay, a result which knocked England out of the group stages.
• England’s first choice back three are all achieving over 90% pass success rate, with John Stones currently completing at 97.5%
• Alternatively, only one Colombian player, Carlos Bacca, is achieving above 90% pass success rate.
• Colombia are averaging 50.7% possession per game at the World Cup.
• 47% of all of Colombia’s phases have taken place in the right third of the pitch, where Harry Maguire and Ashley Young are expect to start for England.
• As a team, only Spain have had a better passing completion at the World Cup than England’s 88.7%. A slightly false statistic perhaps, given their territorial dominance over Tunisia and
• Dele Ali has recovered from his mild thigh complaint and will return to the starting line-up.
• Harry Kane has contributed 63% of England’s goals, by far the highest single-player dependency in the competition.
England to win (11/10) and Harry Kane to score.
Over 2.5 goals: 13/8
Kane to score at any time: 11/10.
Both teams to score: 6/5.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.
Also published on Medium.