England may be heading into their quarter-final clash with Sweden as favourites but there’s no doubt which team will be the fresher.
Gareth Southgate did rotate the squad for their final group match against Belgium - a luxury Sweden couldn’t afford. But after 120 minutes and penalties against Colombia on Tuesday, a few England players may still be struggling come kick-off in Samara.
Meanwhile, Sweden overcame Switzerland in the regular 90 minutes a few hours earlier and could sit back and relax as Colombia and England did battle - literally.
After the Three Lions triumphed on penalties, Southgate admitted that the changing room was like a scene from ‘M*A*S*H’ - an American war comedy-drama television series.
As a result, it seems as though he may make a change ahead of the quarter-final.
Dele Alli has been struggling with a thigh injury since the first group stage match against Tunisia.
And after playing 81 minutes against Colombia on Tuesday, it appears Saturday will come just too soon for him.
As a result, according to various reports, Southgate will start Eric Dier in his place with Jordan Henderson pushing further forward.
Dier may have been the hero by scoring the winning penalty against Colombia but after coming on for Alli in the 81st-minute, his performance wasn’t particularly good.
So after England fans discovered that he may well be starting against Sweden, well, they weren’t too happy.
ENGLAND FANS ARE NOT HAPPY
Check out the reaction on social media:
Ahead of the clash with Sweden, Southgate insisted that he wanted to see Alli getting into more advanced areas to create chances - and admitted he had a decision to make tactically.
"In terms of Dele, I thought his performance against Tunisia was as good as he's had since I've been England manager," said Southgate.
"He is at his best when he's making those forward runs and really threatening opponents with those forward runs from midfield.
"The other night, the game was a little bit different but he did a really diligent job without the ball for us.
"I think maybe we need to encourage him a little bit more to get into those areas where I think his strengths lie. Where he can have the biggest impact on the game.
"That is something I need to think about tactically but like I say, he did a fantastic job for the team."News Now - Sport News