Merson: England have nothing to fear versus Colombia

Posted June 30, 2018

England fans refused to rest even if numerous national side's first team were on the sidelines as the Three Lions World Cup group stage ended with a whimper against Belgium.

Dan Mullan/Getty ImagesBelgium took a 1-0 victory over England to win Group G at the World Cup, but the win sets the Belgian side up for a much more hard path to the final.

Should they beat Colombia, England will face Sweden or Switzerland, swerving a potential quarter-final against Brazil and also meaning they avoid the side of the draw which features four of the seven highest-ranked sides in the world.

"He is a big threat for them, and for us, and a great player". But, I think, 'where does pressure come from?' The more you read and listen and take in, it's normally the voice in your own head. I think we showed tonight that we still have levels to reach. I went to two of their games in Brazil - they were incredible occasions.

"I think that's very unsafe", the attacking midfielder said when asked if it was fair to say England are in the easier half of the draw.

"The most important thing for me is the players are in the best physical condition for the game".

Uruguay 3 Russian Federation 0
A reported 15 million pints of beer were sold in pubs and other venues televising the game. Uruguay stamped their authority early in the group decider.

"They've got some outstanding individuals, but I believe it's a game we can win".

And, even though the Three Lions lost their final group game against Belgium, for once it was arguably for the right reasons, or at least the right motivations.

"If we win again tonight, then all of a sudden the reality of where we are might not have been in people's minds".

Martinez went on to commend the preparation of the teams taking part in the tournament, singling it out as a reason for the high quality of football, which has already been marked out as making Russian Federation 2018 one of the most exciting World Cup of recent times.

Spain looked suspect defensively last time out against Morocco, but Russian Federation haven't scored a World Cup goal against European opposition on European soil since 1982 against Belgium. Though momentum was halted, the path to the semi finals was very much opened up, and while some corners have not taken kindly to the foresight of this whilst there's still a very capable opponent - Colombia - waiting in the last 16, the logic is there.

But the consequences of failure are nowhere more devastating than at a World Cup, where two previous finals and five semi-finals have been decided by the gut-wrenching lottery of penalties. For us, we're not focusing on the next games. The Red Devils have won all three of their games in Russian Federation so far.