Predicted England line-up to face Colombia in the World Cup round of 16
There is an air of positivity around this England squad, who impressed in their opening two games against Tunisia and Panama. Harry Kane has been in stunning form so far, scoring 5 goals in the opening two games, which includes a hat-trick against Panama.
Southgate’s men look determined to end their World Cup slump this time around, with a number of players at the peak of their career.
England fielded a second-string side against Belgium in their final group game, which saw Adnan Januzaj score the winner. But it is clear England possess the quality to go on and win the game. Great things are expected of this England squad this time.
The Three Lions have no real injury concerns and Southgate has a full squad of players to pick from. The manager made 8 changes against Belgium, which saw a number of players dropped to the bench. Most of them should return against Colombia in what could be a defining game for England.
England Probable XI
Manager: Gareth Southgate
Jordan Pickford (GK)
Pickford has started all three games for England so far and he has been in impressive form. The youngster also enjoyed an impressive season with new club Everton and should retain his place against Colombia.
Harry Maguire (LCB)
Maguire enjoyed a superb campaign with Leicester this season. He is England’s best centre-back and Gareth Southgate should start him against Colombia. Maguire’s presence was sorely missed against Belgium.
John Stones (CB)
The Manchester City defender scored 2 splendid goals against Panama and was their best defender on the night. The former Everton defender has shown what he is capable of in the opening two games and should be back for the clash against Colombia.
Kyle Walker (RCB)
Walker has been in fine form all year long, for both club and country. His pace and energy bring a lot more to the England defence. Not a lot of players can win a foot race against Walker, which is exactly why Southgate should start him against the South Americans.
Jordan Henderson (CDM)
Henderson’s passing range is what makes him such an important player in this squad. Since the days of Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard, England haven’t had a pure passer of the ball other than Henderson. He has been in excellent form so far and should be back for this game.
Ashley Young (LM)
Young has shifted from an attacking role to a wingback position over the last two years and he has excelled at it. The former Aston Villa man was impressive for Manchester United throughout the season and his pace down the left-hand side will certainly trouble the Colombians
Jesse Lingard (CM)
Lingard upped his game this season for Manchester United as the midfielder was a crucial part of Jose Mourinho’s squad. He also scored a splendid goal against Panama. Lingard’s ability on the ball will certainly drag defenders out of position and that’s something which Southgate should consider.
Delle Alli (CM)
Alli hasn’t played for England since the opening day due to injury concerns but the midfielder brings a lot to the team in terms of attacking. Southgate should reinstate him back into the squad instead of Loftus-Cheek.
Kieran Trippier (RM)
Tripper has been brilliant for Tottenham and England so far. His crosses into the box are unrivalled, and the defender shares a good partnership with Harry Kane.
Harry Kane (LF)
Given the captaincy role for England this World Cup, Harry Kane has flourished so far. The Spurs striker is on top of the goalscoring charts, netting a total of 5 in 2 games. That’s the Kane we all know and that’s the Kane Southgate should start against Colombia.
Raheem Sterling (RF)
Though guilty of missing one or two tap-ins, Sterling’s pace and ability to dribble threatens a lot of defenders. He’s also brilliant at winning penalties and set-pieces in crucial areas.