Southgate has placed a big bet on Harry Kane and garethpressing

Score first!

That’s what England have to do.

We have to score the first goal against Colombia tonight.

If Colombia score first, I don’t fancy England.

Why do England rely on Harry Kane so much? Because Sterling and Lingard rarely score for us.

Luckily, the chances we squandered in the first two games have not cost us. England beat Tunisia and Panama by playing a high-energy game of attacking with the ball and attacking without the ball.

Jurgen Klopp calls it gegenpressing and  it works because his three strikers are a Brazilian and two Africans.

Southgate has made a bet on Kane and garethpressing.

The return of Dele Alli, a proven goalscorer in big club games, will be important tonight.

Against Colombia in tonight’s Round of 16 knock-out game, we can’t afford to squander chances.

Their best defender Davinson Sanchez is a Spurs teammate of Kane, Trippier and Alli.

Colombia have several very good players, including No.10 Quintero. But James has been injured, and Falcao is only 65% of what he was in his prime. He missed Brazil 2014 with a horrifying injury.

A big test for goalkeeper Jordan Pickford of Everton? Yes but it’s a big test for the other 21 players as well. We are discovering the 8 best teams in the  this World Cup.

Brazil, France, Uruguay and Belgium have qualified for the QFs.

Japan scored two fine goals early in the second half but the Belgians came back to win 3-2.Yes, I thought Jan Vertonghen’s header was deliberate. As that very high ball was coming down he had a long time to decide how to head it.

VERDICT : England have done well compared to Germany, Spain, Portugal and Argentina, who have gone all home.

If we beat Colombia, we are top eight in this World Cup and might have three more games.

It’s huge. But it’s making me very nervous.

Even though I know that the style of play Gareth has chosen is the only that suits the players available to him.

 

Fireball Falcao ends Bilbao dream