Saturday’s England-Sweden game could be like Colombia

Very tight with few chances.

We score first and they equalise and the match goes into extra time.

But of course of Sweden are not Colombia, so we won’t see all that disgusting gamesmanship, all that cheating, any headbutts like the one by Boca Juniors midfielder Wilmar Barrios that deserved a red card in the 39th minute.

Sweden played North European football and their style is hugely influenced by methodical English football.

They could beat us, as Iceland did two years ago in Nice.

Colombia? I was surprised and delighted to see England win that penalty shoot-out and progress.

Where am I with this World Cup quarter-final? I don’t quite know yet.

Rather than researching the history or data before a big game, I tend to rely on impressions, memories and guesses. I pretend I’m thinking my way into a game but I’m actually feeling my way into it.

For example: I just felt that 24-year-old Jordan Pickford of Everton would do well for us.

Because he looks like one of those natural goalkeepers. That’s what I said to myself before this World Cup started : he has very little experience but he’s one of those natural goalkeepers, like Nigel Martyn.

Martyn was originally discovered by Bristol Rovers manager Gerry Francis in the West Country.

Googling Nigel, I found that he was recently quoted in The Yorkshire Post, saying that he’s a big Jordan Pickford fan.

He said, “Jordan has had an excellent season at Everton. He was probably the shining light of a slightly disappointing campaign, so he’ll be going into the tournament full of confidence and would definitely do a good job.”

Martyn was Dave Seaman’s England deputy and played at Crystal Palace when Southgate was there and later won 12 of his 23 caps playing behind Southgate.

He said, “When he first came through into the first-team squad at Palace, he was a very intelligent young man. He was a bit shy, a bit nervous, but you could see the intelligence there. Even in his time at Palace, he progressed a long way with his football. He’s football-intelligent as well as being an intelligent guy himself.”

During this World Cup so far I’ve written about what I think Southgate will do and not about what I think he should do.

But today I’ll figure out what my starting eleven would be against Sweden.

If I’ve decided, I’ll post my England team tomorrow at 9 a.m.

But if I haven’t decided, I’ll post it on Saturday morning.