GERMANY TO ASSESS WORLD CUP EMBARRASSMENT
The head of the German FA (the DFB) says they will assess their World Cup performance following their shock exit at the group stages.
He also said he is convinced that Joachim Low – who has agreed to remain in charge until 2022 – is still the right man to lead the side.
KICK-UPS WITH FED
Could Switzerland do with this man right now? They are currently 1-0 down to Sweden in their World Cup last-16 match, with just over ten minutes to go.
MIKEL THANKS AUTHORITIES AFTER KIDNAPPING ORDEAL
Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has thanked authorities that contributed to the safe return of his father following his kidnapping.
Mikel was informed of his father’s abduction before the group match against Argentina, but still took to the field.
SIXTH IN THE WORLD
Switzerland have risen to sixth in the latest FIFA world rankings – that’s six places higher than England – and are on the back of an impressive run of just one loss in their last 25 games.
Their eye-catching form that has not surprised striker Josip Drmic.
“These figures are no coincidence,” he said.
“We’ve fought hard for this status over the last few months.”
SWEDEN V SWITZERLAND
Before the country is brought to a halt to watch the match against Colombia, there’s the penultimate last-16 match between Sweden and Switzerland in Saint Petersburg. 3pm kick-off for that one.
Sweden have made one change from the side that beat Mexico 3-0 in their final group game, with Seb Larsson suspended. He is replaced by Gustav Svensson.
Switzerland have made four changes. Captain Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schar are suspended, so Michael Lang and Johan Djourou come into the XI. There are also changes up front with Bree Embolo and Mario Gavranovic making way for Steven Zuber and Josip Drmic.
SUAREZ: MBAPPE IS LIKE HENRY
Uruguay take on France in the quarter-finals on Friday and Luis Suarez is wary of the threat posed by teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe.
“About Mbappe, everybody knows he’s a really good player, he’s like (Thierry) Henry a few years ago,” Suarez said.
“But I think we have a really good defence to control him – but not just one player, the (whole) France team.”
KIRKLAND BACKS PICKFORD ON PENS
Former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland says he would expect Jordan Pickford to save at least two penalties if England end up in a shootout.
POLES NEED NEW COACH
Poland’s coach Adam Nawalka will step down at the end of July after his team crashed out of the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.
“We have decided that Adam Nawalka will remain Poland’s team coach until July 30 and after that day we will be looking for a new coach. We will try to build a national team in a new way,” head of the Polish FA, Zbigniew Boniek, said during a joint news conference with Nawalka.
DANISH FA ACT ON JORGENSEN DEATH THREATS
The Danish Football Association says it has reported death threats made against striker Nicolai Jorgensen to the police, after he endured a barrage of online abuse for missing a World Cup penalty against Croatia.
Jorgensen’s miss in Sunday’s penalty shootout led to Denmark’s elimination from the tournament following a 1-1 stalemate at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.
“Stop. Our society must never accept death threats – neither against World Cup stars, politicians or others. It is completely unacceptable and indecent,” the Danish FA said in a statement on Twitter.
“We are reporting the case to the police to end this madness.”
LOW SET TO STAY ON
Germany manager Joachim Low has given a verbal commitment to see out the new contract he signed before the World Cup, according to Sky in Germany.
Low’s current deal, signed on May 15, extended his stay in the role until 2022.
Defending champions Germany failed to make it out of the group stage at the World Cup, finishing bottom of Group F.
RIO, RIO, RIO
Not the former England captain but the scenes of jubilation across the city as Brazil reached the quarter finals for the seventh tournament in succession with a 2-0 win against Mexico.
PEKERMAN: RODRIGUEZ INJURY NOT SERIOUS
Colombia boss Jose Pekerman yesterday insisted he will give James Rodriguez every opportunity to prove his fitness for the last 16 encounter with England.
The 26-year-old suffered a calf injury in the final group match against Senegal last week leading to doubt over his involvement in tonight’s clash in Moscow.
Pekerman said: “We had good news after his medical tests. After his MRI (scan) we knew that he doesn’t have a serious injury.
“We still have one-and-a-half days to see how he feels, and as always we hope that he will be able to play in the following games.”
‘ENGLAND REST A HUGE ADVANTAGE’
Former Aston Villa and Colombia striker Juan Pablo Angel believes the extra rest the core of England’s squad have enjoyed during this tournament could give them an edge in Moscow tonight.
‘ENGLAND HAVE A BRILLIANT OPPORTUNITY’
Gareth Southgate says England have a brilliant opportunity to end their miserable record in the knockout stages of major tournaments.
England are undoubtedly in the easier half of the draw and will play a quarter-final tie against the winner of Sweden’s match with Switzerland should they get past Colombia tonight.
“For this team, this is a brilliant opportunity to go beyond where more experienced teams have before them,” said Southgate.
“The lads have got the chance to write their own stories.
“The thing I want more than anything else is the players to continue to attack the tournament as we have. That shouldn’t change now we are in the knockout phase. If anything we should feel freer.
“It is a game we are really looking forward to, the sort of match you want to be involved in. It is going to be a fantastic evening.”
WORLD CUP FEVER AT WIMBLEDON
Colombia and England fans at Wimbledon have been getting in the World Cup spirit this morning with a sing-off.
We were there and there are no prizes for guessing the winner!
ROONEY: BE PATIENT WITH ENGLAND
Now, former captain Wayne Rooney is a veteran of six major tournaments with England.
The former Everton and Man United striker has just completed a move to MLS side DC United and Rooney is calling for patience with the national team although he admits there is a ‘real buzz’ about England in Russia.
SOUTHGATE: WE CONTROL OUR DESTINY
Even Gareth Southgate is getting in on the act.
“We said we didn’t want this tournament to take hold of us and push us around,” Southgate said. “We wanted to attack it and make sure we were in charge of our destiny.
“Of course, once you get to these games there are really fine margins, so there are games that you know as a team if you want to progress to have success, you have to win these matches.
“All our preparations around that we feel we are in a good place. Now we have to stop talking and go and deliver.”
DATE WITH DESTINY
Right, that’s enough about yesterday for now – we have the small matter of a date with destiny tonight – as England get ready to slug it out with Colombia.
WE ARE BELGIUM SAY WE ARE BELGIUM
Belgium’s thrilling win over Japan sparked wild celebrations all the way from Brussels to the banks of the Moskva River in the Russian capital.
NEYMAR ANTICS A ‘SHAME’ FOR FOOTBALL
Brazil’s win was somewhat overshadowed by an incident involving Neymar, which saw the forward roll around – apparently in agony – after Mexico midfielder Miguel Layun appeared to brush against his ankle.
Neymar’s reaction has divided opinion but Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio was scathing of the PSG frontman.
“I think it’s a shame for football,” he said.
“We wasted a lot of time because of one single player. We lost our style in the second half, because of the referee.
“This is a very bad example for the world and the world of football.” Neymar attempted to play down the controversy after the match.
“Look, I think it’s more of an attempt to undermine me than anything else,” he said.
“I don’t care much for criticism, not even from the press because in a way this can influence athletes.”
BELGIUM TO MEET BRAZIL
Belgium’s epic win last night came after another Premier Leagueplayer – Roberto Firmino – rounded off a 2-0 win over Mexico as Brazil reached their seventh successive World Cup quarter-final.
BELGIUM SEAL DRAMATIC COMEBACK WIN
It was as close as you could get to an England win last night with three English-based players – Jan Vertonghen, Marouane Fellainiand Nacer Chadli – all on target as Belgium came from two down to beat Japan 3-2 in a barnstormer in Rostov.
And welcome to the World Cup Daily blog as we countdown to England’s last 16 showdown with Colombia in Moscow.
There are only 12 hours to go till kick off!