Colombia’s James Rodriguez sits during training. (REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)
MOSCOW, July 3 (Reuters): Colombia’s key playmaker James Rodriguez failed in his bid to be fit to start Tuesday’s last 16 game against England at the Luzhniki Stadium.
The Golden Boot winner at the World Cup four years ago lasted only 30 minutes in their dramatic 1-0 win over Senegal that booked a place in the knockout stage and was described as suffering from swelling in his leg by Colombia’s medical staff.
Rodriguez, listed on the team sheet as absent, is replaced by Jefferson Lerma while Mateus Uribe makes way for Wilmar Barrios.
England manager Gareth Southgate recalled fit-again attacking midfielder Dele Alli, who missed the last two games of the group stage due to a thigh injury, as he made nine changes for the World Cup second-round clash.
Ruben Loftus Cheek stands down as England revert to the lineup that began their World Cup campaign in the 2-1 victory over Tunisia after fielding a second-string side in the defeat by Belgium in their final group game.
Midfielder Fabian Delph, who returned home to attend the birth of his third child, was listed as absent.