England's Dele Alli backs Harry Kane over Tottenham teammate Davinson Sanchez
REPINO, Russia -- England midfielder Dele Alli is backing striker Harry Kane to get the better of their Tottenham Hotspur teammate Davinson Sanchez in their World Cup last-16 clash against Colombia on Tuesday.
Central defender Sanchez will be directly up against the England captain and, while Alli was reluctant to discuss the few areas in which the former Ajax Amsterdam player can be exposed, he believes Kane will come out on top.
"I think he [Sanchez] is a great player, I don't think any player is perfect, we know things, we know how he plays and he has a lot of strengths. We're going to look to do as well as we can to exploit his very few weaknesses," Alli told a news conference on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Sanchez has just completed his first season in the Premier League after joining Spurs in a £42 million pound deal from Ajax and Alli said he had been hugely impressed with the Colombian's performances.
"He's really impressed me since he has come in -- he is a great player, he is physical, he is strong, he is good on the ball," he said.
"Davinson is a great player, he is a great guy as well. It's hard not to support him but as players there are no friends on the pitch, you have to go out and do your job and hopefully Harry comes out on top," added Alli.
The midfielder is now back to full fitness and in contention to regain his starting place in Gareth Southgate's lineup.
Alli missed England's second Group G game against Tunisia with a thigh injury and sat out the 1-0 loss to Belgium in their final match in the section.
He said that talk of England losing momentum by playing a second-string side in that defeat was wide of the mark.
"We've come here with a big squad and everyone is fighting for their place. It was a great opportunity and I think the boys have done well," he said.
"I don't think we lost any momentum. We're all fighting, we're all raring to go and we're all looking forward to the next game."
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Meanwhile, Kane has called the match against Colombia England's "moment of truth" and said the team was ready to do whatever it takes to advance to the quarterfinals.
"This is the moment of truth," Kane said. "Colombia are a tough team and have got some great players and we have to be ready for that.
"We have had a great start. This is the business end. It's a totally new tournament now. You focus on finding a way to win."
Alli added that he thought viewing England's position in what is seen as the easier half of the draw was a trap they could not fall into. Sweden or Switzerland await in the quarterfinals. However, Alli was adamant that the Three Lions wouldn't fear any team they came up against in Russia.
"The World Cup is the highest level," he said. "The best teams around the world, the players playing against each other. As a team we're not scared of anyone.
"Whatever team you put in front of us we're not going to hide, we'll go out there be confident in ourselves, play the way we want to play and hopefully win the game.
"Of course, like I said before, we've come here with the mentality we want to win it and we're going to win it.
"At the same time we can't get carried away. We've been playing very well, there has been a lot of positives but at the same time there are still things to work on and we know that as players.
"For us we have to focus on the next game, we can't think about how well we've played in the last game or how good we are doing.
"We have to be positive, but we can't get carried away and let our feet get off the floor.
"We have to perform well and we're confident that we can beat anyone."