Gareth Southgate: Colombia clash is England's biggest in a decade

England fans are a hit with Russian locals ahead of Belgium game

Not in group G where England and Belgium are already through, but even there the top two need to decide who goes through in top spot.

"This was by all accounts, the smart result for Gareth Southgate and England", wrote the Mail's chief sports writer Martin Samuel.

England's best start to a World Cup in 12 years saw them bag a last-minute victor against Tunisia and storm to a 6-1 victory over Panama, their biggest ever win at any major tournament.

Rashford said: "It's not the first time it's happened against him".

Undoubtedly, Sweden and Switzerland pose a lesser test than Mexico or Brazil would, but they should not be counting their chickens just yet. "They pose you different technical and tactical challenges as we had (against Belgium)".

But Southgate stands by his plan and believes England are finally ready to end their knockout nightmares which stretch back 12 years since their last win in the latter stages of a major tournament.

"I watched Colombia the other day and there's nothing to be scared of there for England".

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Now, if they find a way past Colombia, they will fancy their chances of reaching the semi-finals.

"Better to lose to Neymar than Granit Xhaka, to die a heroic death at the height of your powers", said the Guardian, comparing Arsenal's Swiss midfielder to the world's most expensive player. 'Whoever we play are capable of, in a one-off game, beating us.

The England manager's decision was also taken with squad harmony in mind.

Nearly by tradition, there was some World Cup diplomacy at the European Union summit.

Victor plays second of the earlier group so there could be mind games in this last meaningful match of the groups. 'He totally understood, 100 per cent, that it was team first.

"It's exciting", Southgate said of the clash.

On the rebuilding process that faces Chile, Sanchez added: 'We are not Brazil or Argentina, they have 50 players, we are Chile and it is the reality that until now there is not much spare. "In playing terms, a deflating night did exactly the opposite", wrote Matt Dickinson in the Times. That ensured Colombia and England would meet in Moscow on Tuesday.

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