18th September 2018

WORLD CUP ENGLAND EXPECTS

ENGLAND EXPECTS

3rd July 2018

England and Colombia clash in the World Cup last 16 on Tuesday with Gareth Southgate urging his side to make their own history with a rare knockout stage win.

England made a positive impression in the early stages of the tournament and are now looking to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2006.

"It is 10 years since we have won a knockout fixture," said the England head coach at his pre-match press conference on Monday.

"For this team, this is a brilliant opportunity to go beyond where more experienced teams have before them. The lads have got the chance to write their own stories."

The tournament is considered wide open following the elimination of Germany, Spain and Argentina, but Southgate refuses to get carried away with his team's chances.

"We have been in this position before many times over the last however many years," he added. "It is pointless to think about what might happen after the game here.

Former Aston Villa and Colombia forward Juan Pablo Angel says there is a 'different atmosphere' in English football under Gareth Southgate

"We will focus on the game and our performance and everything will fall into place from there.

"Maybe the teams who aren't here weren't as strong this time. If teams are beating Spain and Germany they have also got to be respected. We haven't even discussed anything beyond [Tuesday]."

For Colombia, doubts still persist over whether star man James Rodriguez will be fit to start for the South Americans in Moscow.

Kane look set to lead his country to a famous win and England will know the opponents will be tough, but with Rodriguez not at 100% it is a big, big plus.

Joe