World Cup 2018: Day 20 at a glance

The round of 16 concludes with Gareth Southgate’s England facing Colombia

England captain Harry Kane plays darts as his side prepare for their lat-16 clash with Colombia. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

England captain Harry Kane plays darts as his side prepare for their lat-16 clash with Colombia. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

 

THE MATCHES

Last-16:

Sweden v Switzerland (St Petersburg, 3.0, RTÉ2/BBC) Betting: Sweden 21-10, Switzerland 17-10, Draw 2-1

Colombia v England (Spartak Stadium, 7.0, RTÉ2/ITV) Betting: Colombia 31-10, England 11-10, Draw 9-4

ONE TO WATCH

The build-up to England’s clash with Colombia on Tuesday night - the final last-16 tie - has felt protracted. Since their 1-0 defeat to Belgium things have really opened up on England’s side of the draw, with Spain’s defeat to Russia meaning any route to the final looks relatively favourable.

But there lies an issue - there has been so much talk of Gareth Southgate’s side being presented with the chance of a lifetime, it has been overlooked how dangerous an opponent Colombia are likely to prove at the Spartak Stadium.

However, this England side seem very grounded in comparison to those which have gone before them - and nobody symbolises this better than their captain, Harry Kane. In Kane, England possess arguably the best out-and-out centre-forward in the world.

He currently leads the race for the Golden Boot with five - despite only playing twice - having proven to be particularly deadly in the air and from the penalty spot. Kane is more than just a goalscorer, though, and has the ability to drop deep and link the play as well as leading the line.

He is also a thoroughly likeable character and is the side’s talisman on and off the pitch - but it will be his ruthless streak which England will need to negotiate the tricky hurdle of Colombia

YOUNG GUN

Switzerland are currently ranked sixth in the world, and this World Cup is a golden opportunity for them to produce a tournament performance reflective of this lofty standing. Their run to last-16 has seen them hold Brazil and beat Serbia - something helped by the emergence of a defensive jewel in Manuel Akanji.

Akanji has become a fixture in the Swiss side since making his international debut in June 2017 - and the 22-year-old is the defensive rock on which a best World Cup campaign since 1954 can be built.

Switzerland’s Manuel Akanji (L) has enjoyed an impressive tournament so far. Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/EPA
Switzerland’s Manuel Akanji (L) has enjoyed an impressive tournament so far. Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/EPA

A lighting, athletic defender, he reads the game beautifully - beating attackers to the ball rather than having to lunge into tackles. He signed for Borussia Dortmund in January, but his performances in Russia will surely have alerted the attentions of the Premier League’s big clubs.

DID YOU KNOW?

World Cup fever has got England gripped - so much so everybody wants to look like the gaffer. Indeed, Marks & Spencers have reported a 35 per cent increase in the sale of waistcoats since the tournament began - something they’re calling the ‘Gareth Southgate’ effect. The retailer are even selling a replica Southgate suit, for the bargain price of £265 (€300) - but the waistcoat will set you back a further £65 (€73). I suppose you can’t put a price on it coming home.

England manager Gareth Southgate and his trademark waistcoat. Photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP
England manager Gareth Southgate and his trademark waistcoat. Photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP

GOLDEN BOOT

5 - Harry Kane
4 - Romelu Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo
3 - Edison Cavani, Kylian Mbappe, Diego Costa, Artem Dzyuba, Denis Cheryshev

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