Sports

Gareth Southgate: Colombia clash is England's biggest in a decade

Gareth Southgate: Colombia clash is England's biggest in a decade

Fabian Delph has Gareth Southgate's full support to be at the birth of his child rather than England's crunch World Cup clash with Colombia - although the midfielder could yet make it back to Russian Federation if the curries kick in.

In just two games, Harry Kane scored the first five goals of his World Cup career - and he's now five away from tying Gary Lineker's career England record of 10.

"I think he [Sanchez] is a great player, I don't think any player is ideal, we know things, we know how he plays and he has a lot of strengths". Ignoring the practice penalties England had after a friendly against Belgium in 1998, the Three Lions have been involved in seven tournament shootouts, winning only one - against Spain at Euro '96.

It means England go to Moscow to face Group H winners Colombia at the Spartak Stadium on Tuesday with Belgium meeting Japan in Rostov-on-Don on Monday. "The formation suits us perfectly", said the 25-year-old.

"I watched Colombia the other day and there's nothing to be scared of there for England", Merson said. And England aren't that great at them.

"I don't think we lost any momentum".

"No. Obviously we are going to have to play the big teams sooner rather than later, and if you want to be the best team in the world, you've got to beat the big teams".

"My father's generation and those before them would view that differently but you have got to be there for your family, I think, and that is very important". Speaking to Britain's Sunday newspapers he said, "Maybe if I'd played against Belgium and didn't score, I'd be thinking, "I didn't score in the last game".

"I think it's very risky. Losing the game might actually benefit England to go further in the World Cup, to be on the right side of the draw which I believe they are".

We're quickly reaching the business end of the World Cup, and while only one team will be celebrating after the final on July 15th, there's also some coveted individual hardware to play for.


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