Colombia are poor and England's path is clear to the semi-finals, says Paul Merson
Last Updated: 02/07/18 11:02am
England have nothing to be afraid of against Colombia who are a poor side, according to Paul Merson.
England face Colombia in the last 16 of the World Cup on Tuesday after losing to Belgium to finish second in their final Group G match.
Southgate made eight changes for the 1-0 defeat, meaning that they must now play Colombia on Tuesday instead of Japan. The decision to shuffle his pack is one that Merson feels Southgate got spot on as it strengthens England's chances of making the semi-finals.
Colombia finished top of Group H but Merson admits he's not been impressed with their performances.
"Fair play to Gareth with what he did against Belgium," he said in his World Cup predictions column.
"He had to rest everyone because it's been a long Premier League season. Everything's worked out perfectly.
"I watched Colombia the other day and there's nothing to be scared of there for England.
"They are dangerous at set plays but we are as good as anybody at set plays. I was sat there watching the Belgium game saying please don't score!
"If we don't get to the last four I'd be shocked. At the start of the tournament, we were saying that if we'd get past the quarter-finals it'd be great but if we don't get to a semi-final now it won't have been a very good tournament.
"I've always said we've had a chance but at the moment I can't see past Brazil.
"However, from here if we don't reach the semi-finals you have to class it as disappointing. The route we've got now is Colombia, who have been poor and had James Rodriguez limped out of the Senegal game.
"Then it's Sweden or Switzerland. No disrespect to the two countries but if you can't beat them you are not winning World Cups."
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