Colombia vs. England (FOX, 2:00 p.m. ET)
Colombia and England are gripped with World Cup fever as the group stage combined with Sunday’s results opened the draw out to give them a fantastic chance of at least reaching a World Cup final.
England are somehow 11/2 to win the World Cup with Colombia 18/1, and England are reasonably strong favourites to prevail in Moscow at 11/10. Colombia are 31/10 with the draw 9/4. In the “To Qualify” market Colombia are 6/4 with England 1/2.
England have undoubtedly played some fine football at this World Cup, beating Tunisia 2-1 (and deserving more) before despatching Panama 6-1. The 1-0 defeat to Belgium can be largely discounted from your considerations given the weakened XI both sides played.
But for me there simply is not enough evidence to make England such strong favourites.
They deserve favouritism, especially if Colombia’s talisman James Rodriguez is injured or only semi-fit.
But Colombia’s group stage performances deserve a lot of credit. They lost to Japan but had 10 men for all but the first five minutes, before thrashing Poland with an excellent display of attacking football. They were then more workmanlike against Senegal but still got the job done.
Juan Fernando Quintero has been one of the tournament’s breakout stars. He can spot a pass better than any English player. In Falcao and Juan Cuadrado Colombia have two talented players with a point to prove after both failed in their brief stints in the Premier League.
England, of course, have a razor-sharp attack and one of the best forwards in the world in Harry Kane.
But I cannot have them at 11/10. This could be a lot more even than bookmakers expect, and Colombia are the value.
Prediction: Colombia 2-1 England
Top Bet: Colombia at 31/10