Senegal star Sadio Mané keeps three Polish defenders busy in their World Cup opener. Photo: Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

England won’t want another late winner to save them against Panama in trying to qualify the World Cup last-16 in today’s action in Russia.

The inspirational Senegal will also look to advance into the knockouts, but it’s not going to be straightforward against Japan…

2pm: England v Panama

England may not have the services of Dele Alli, who has a thigh strain. A photo of a piece of paper with likely starting XI on it, held by assistant manager Steve Holland, shows that Alli will be replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, while Marcus Rashford will provide added bite upfront in place of Raheem Sterling.

Panama, though, proved against a powerful Belgian side that they won’t be walkovers as they held Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard at bay in the first half, before conceding three goals in the second.

England, though, will look to captain Harry Kane to inspire them to a last-16 place with a victory.

Prediction: England 2-0 Panama

5pm: Japan v Senegal

This time for Africa! Senegal can wrap up their passage to the knockout stages by getting the better of Japan, but it won’t be an easy game.

The Asian outfit had the benefit of facing a 10-man Columbia side for 87 minutes in their opener after Carlos Sanchez was red-carded, but they are a quality side.

Shinji Okazaki is the dangerman that Senegal need to mark closely, while Japan captain Keisuke Honda will hope to recover from a thigh injury.

Sadio Mané is the standout for Senegal, and their physical defence may thwart the Japanese strike-force.

But don’t worry, Senegal will make us proud!

Prediction: Japan 0-1 Senegal!

8pm: Poland v Columbia

Both teams have to win to stay alive in the tournament after losing their opening games.

Poland going down to Senegal was somewhat of a surprise, as they boast Bayern Munich’s star striker Robert Lewandowski, who battled to get going.

He will need to spark the Poles into action, because their defence are likely to face a tough time from Columbia – if the South Americans can keep all 11 players on the pitch, after Carlos Sanchez was sent off after just three minutes against Senegal.

James Rodriguez is expected to start this game after coming on as a substitute in the opener, while Radamel Falcao will also provide a scoring threat.

Prediction: Poland 0-1 Columbia

 

IOL Sport

Like IOL Sport on Facebook

Follow IOL Sport on Twitter