We take a look at a few key battles that could decide the Round of 16 clash between Colombia and England at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Colombia and England both endured contrasting group stage campaigns at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. England confirmed their qualification after the first two games and had the comfort of resting a few players in their last game against Belgium.
Colombia, on the other hand, had to jostle for a place in the Round of 16 in the final matchday. While they did end up topping their group, it came at a price. James Rodriguez was hauled off after receiving a knock and is unlikely to start against England.
Going into the Round of 16 match, the two nations are likely to go at it with each other to land themselves a spot in the quarter-finals and continue on their path to be World Champions.
The match has several enticing battles at hand. We take a look at a couple of such battles that could decide the outcome.
Davinson Sanchez vs Harry Kane
Defence vs Attack. Teammates at club level, Davinson Sanchez and Harry Kane are both aware of each other’s playing style. This could also mean that the duo will know each other’s weak spots.
Harry Kane has been in deadly form thus far, with 5 goals to his name. The Englishman would love to add to his tally against Colombia. Davinson Sanchez, on the other hand, will hope to build on his team’s brilliant defensive performance against Poland and Senegal.
Harry Kane will be a different beast for them, judging by his form. But, with a player already having the knowhow of how to tackle Kane.
The outcome of the match might just depend on which Tottenham star comes out on top.
Juan Cuadrado vs Ashley Young
What a turnaround it has been for Ashley Young. From being on the fringes of the Manchester United first-team to a regular for the club and now the England National Team as well. Gareth Southgate’s decision to field Young ahead of Danny Rose has been vindicated by his performances so far.
On the other hand, Juan Cuadrado has been equally impressive for Colombia. The match against Poland saw Cuadrado in full flow and terrorise the Polish defence. The Juventus man will be crucial to Colombia’s chances against England, especially in the absence of James Rodriguez.
Cuadrado will be expected to use his pace to trouble Ashley Young. The Manchester United star though, has shown he has the guile to tackle pacy customers on his flank and should be up to the task.