Monday 24 September 2018

Sanchez: English not a one-man team

James Rodriguez is a doubt for Tuesday. Photo: Reuters
James Rodriguez is a doubt for Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

Colombia's Carlos Sanchez has insisted England are far more than a one-man team reliant on their captain Harry Kane.

The Tottenham striker's five goals from England's victories over Tunisia and Panama, and the extent to which they struggled in his absence when he was rested from the defeat by Belgium, has further highlighted the extent of Kane's influence.

He is expected to return to the starting XI for Tuesday's last-16 fixture between the two teams in Moscow, but with Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard also likely to start, Sanchez recognises England pose a wider threat to his team.

The midfielder became increasingly familiar with English football during his two years with Aston Villa from 2014, and said of Kane: "He is emblematic for England and shows their quality in the World Cup, but we will not face him alone, it will be the England team, there are many figures.

"The English are a country with a lot of history, they are very structured, they have players with important offensive power and they have shown in this competition, tactically, a very well worked team.

"We are not favourites, they invented football, they have a lot of history, players with a lot of quality.

"(But) I am sure that we have the weapons. They have demonstrated their power but we also have our little things."

Colombia's leading player, James Rodriguez, remains an injury doubt for Tuesday's fixture, and the 32-year-old Sanchez said: "If there is not James there is another one who can make a difference.

"Everyone has the level to play and be here; I have the full confidence (we) will work as a team to achieve the result that will take us to the next phase."

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