Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Dele Alli confirms availability for England to face Colombia

Dele Alli confirms availability for England to face Colombia

Yes, England's path looks much tamer than it could have been, but no game is easy at this stage of the competition and today's last 16 opponents, Colombia, will prove a stern test.

Sweden's World Cup has been a unusual one so far: lucky to beat South Korea with a penalty in their first game, unlucky to lose to a 95th minute goal against Germany and totally convincing to destroy Mexico 3-0 in their last match.

Gareth Southgate has been fantastic.

"We can't change the past, it's gone now", Rashford said.

"But when we are in possession, it allows me to get further forward to get beyond the striker a bit more and get into goalscoring positions", he said.

Alli worked himself into the team for England's Group G opener against Tunisia, only to pick up a thigh strain that kept him out of the final two matches.

Manager Gareth Southgate, who missed the crucial spot-kick in the Euro 96 semi-final, has the whole squad practicing and insists that they emulate the walk from the centre circle to the penalty area in training.

"Ten months ago we qualified for the World Cup by beating Slovenia and people were throwing paper airplanes on to the pitch at Wembley".

A worry for them though is the fitness of star-man James Rodriguez, the Bayern Munich attacker limping off against Senegal in the first half, his absence would be a major boost to England's chances.

But Switzerland manager Vladimir Petkovic believes whoever wins Tuesday's game at the St Petersburg Stadium is more than capable to upsetting England.

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

Statistics suggest that players have an 89 percent chance of scoring if the team's last two shootouts have been successful.

"Personally, the only pressure is the pressure I put on myself".

Petkovic added: 'Those who know me realise I am not clinging on to the thought of what could be just in this match. "I think it's stupid not to practise, especially at this stage of the tournament", he said.

"For some of them, this will be one of the biggest games they'll have been involved in, but maybe not the biggest. We are excited and enjoying the World Cup", he said.

'We've got to try to work hard on the penalties and we have been, we're trying to own the situation, not let it own us.

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