England vs. Colombia (7/3 2:00 pm)
Is football coming home? England’s chances for winning the World Cup have not looked this good since their supposed “golden generation” back in 2006. (A tournament they went crashing out of on penalties.) England’s half of the Round of 16 bracket have some of the “weaker” sides in the tournament, and they could very well go on a run. Manager Gareth Southgate, however, will know they need to take it one step at a time. And lest we forget, the Three Lions haven’t even looked their best! They needed a last-minute winner against Tunisia and lost 1-0 to Belgium (albeit in a dead-rubber match.) Their 6-1 victory over Panama in their second match sent a bit of a statement to the football world, but their Central American debutant opponents were never going to impress. The question for opponents Colombia, is whether James Rodriguez will be fit to play. The playmaker went off injured (he was able to walk off the pitch) in their final group match against Senegal. Juan Cuadrado’s job on the right wing will be that much more difficult should Rodriguez not recover in time. An in-form Harry Kane may be the difference. The Tottenham striker is currently chasing this tournament’s Golden Boot Award, and that, coupled with the possibility of England’s first World Cup since 1966, should be incentive enough. Question is, can he channel his inner Geoff Hurst? I think he can and I think he will. England to win.
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