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Colombia downplay 'favourites' tag against England

02 July 2018

The winners of Sweden vs. Switzerland await either England or Colombia in the quarter-final.

Southgate and his England players will make the short trip to Moscow on Tuesday evening for their Round of 16 game with Colombia. When the pressure is on and World Cup glory is beckoning, which members of Gareth Southgate's squad would you entrust to take a penalty?

"That's what got us here, so why change?"

A key reason for the progress, Rashford feels, is that the England players have shown they do not live in a "bubble" and during this campaign have worked hard on improving the relationship with supporters disillusioned by the dis-connect and the serial failings at previous finals.

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"Everyone gets on. There's no squabbling in the camp, there's no cliques in the camp". "The manager has a great idea of how he wants us to play. We are not really fussed what side [of the draw] we got chosen on". "We know as players and staff it would be disappointing, so we've got to go out and play with no fear, play free, enjoy the occasion, enjoy the moment and get the victory". "He pipes up now and then", Lingard chuckled about teenage full-back Alexander-Arnold, who starred in an Instagram story video of his team-mates making a hasty escape from a rollercoaster because they thought the safety harnesses were faulty.

"As a group of lads, it is a young squad but we still have those experienced players in there and the team spirit is awesome at the moment. You can't wait to get out there", he remarked.

"I will be talking a lot with him between now and the game - and we will have a plan".

A 1-0 defeat to Belgium in their final group game has already been shrugged off, with it widely acknowledged that finishing second was of greater benefit - hence the sweeping changes made by both sides in what was a dead rubber. In training everyone is sharp. There probably is another gear we can go to. I have a very strong partnership with Davinson Sanchez and Kane will not have an easy time against us.

Colombia downplay 'favourites' tag against England