England World Cup 2018 team news: Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Fabian Delph miss training ahead of Colombia clash

The Three Lions face Colombia in Moscow on Tuesday

Ben Burrows
Saturday 30 June 2018 11:12
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World Cup 2018: England fans in Russia give their verdict on Belgium loss

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Fabian Delph were the only absentees from training as England continued preparations for their World Cup knockout clash with Colombia.

Loftus-Cheek, who started England's last two Group G games, is not carrying an injury but completed a personal conditioning session at the team hotel rather than joining team-mates at their Spartak Zelenogorsk training base.

Delph, meanwhile, remains in England having flown back for the birth of his third child following Thursday's 1-0 defeat to Belgium.

John Stones came off at half-time in that match and was seen with bandaging on his left calf, but he took part with the rest of the group and is not understood to be a fitness concern.

Dele Alli, who sustained a thigh problem in England's opening win over Tunisia and has not featured since, is now back to fitness and should be in contention for Tuesday's last-16 match in Moscow.

Meanwhile, Harry Maguire has thrown his support behind Gareth Southgate’s decision to play England’s second team in the defeat by Belgium, arguing it means the squad’s reserves won’t be unprepared should they be called upon in the later stages.

Southgate made eight changes to his team, with England flopping to a 1-0 defeat in Kaliningrad. That has brought a lot of concerns over whether England should instead have gone full-gun for the win that would have resulted in a more forgiving tie with Japan – albeit with a potential quarter-final against Brazil.

But Maguire says there are other positives to consider.

“The main thing was to get minutes into people’s legs because you never know, if we get injuries and you haven’t played for five or six weeks, then it becomes a problem," he says.

Alli is back to fitness and in contention for the Colombia match 

"But it’s nice for everyone to get minutes and if they are called upon in the knockout stages then I am sure they will be ready.”

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