After scraping through the last 16 of the World Cup through the narrowest of margins against Nigeria England now face another tricky tie against Colombia. A place in the semi-finals is up for grabs and both teams have the chance of lifting the biggest trophy in the sport for the first time. The Lionesses can make it back-to-back tournament successes after winning the Euro final last year and Sarina Weigman is looking to maintain her record of having never lost a competitive match as manager of England. The match will take place at 11:30am GMT at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
After a tense 120 minutes of football against Nigeria last time out where the teams could only be separated by penalties England will be hoping for a much clearer passage this time round. After a reckless decision from Lauren James in the 87th minute where she stamped on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie England had to play the remainder of the match with 10 players on the pitch. Lauren James is now suspended for the next two games and will not be available until the final should we make it that far. England still remain undefeated having won all three of their games in Group D, and Colombia have won three of their games within 90-minutes, losing to Morocco in their final group game.
Colombia are carrying the hopes of South America firmly on their shoulders as they look to become the first team from the continent to reach the semi-final of the competition since 2007. Manuela Vanegas is expected to slot in again at the left side of the back four once more for Colombia as she returns from suspension which will be a very welcome boost. In attack Usme and Linda Caicedo are enjoying good tournaments with two goals-apiece and they are likely to be joined by Mayra Ramirez. The Powerpuff girls are certainly not a team to take lightly having knocked the German team out of their group, defeating the former champions 2-1 and defeating Jamaica in the last round.
As for the Lionesses Ella Toone who has started the last two matches on the bench is expected to return to the starting line-up again. Jess Carter is expected to remain part of a back three alongside Millie Bright and Alex Greenwood. England are priced at 4/7 to win inside 90 minutes and 2/9 to qualify, Colombia are priced at 11/2 to win inside 90 minutes and 31/10 to qualify. Having been the favourites to go all the way and lift the trophy for the last two matches of the tournament Spain (2/1) have now emerged as the new favourites to go the distance, with England ranked 2nd priced at 3/1.
- England are ranked 4th in the FIFA world rankings.
- Colombia are ranked 25th in the FIFA world rankings.
- Lauren James is suspended for the next two games and will not be available until the final should we make it that far.
- England have reached the semi-final of the last two World Cup’s.
England 2 Colombia 1 - 15/2 with Paddy Power
I am expecting another cagey encounter and Colombia definitely pose a big threat with their attacking talents. I fancy both teams to get on the score sheet and England to come through the match within 90 minutes, although they will experience nervous moments.
England to win and both teams score 7/2 with Paddy Power
As mentioned above I fancy both teams to score with England coming out the overall victors so this gives you a bit more security in regards to the betting markets.
Linda Caicedo to have a shot on target - 13/10 with Paddy Power
Linda Caicedo is a player that I strongly admire and she is enjoying a good campaign with two goals already scored so far. I fancy her to have at least one shot on target inside 90 minutes.