As Colombia’s national soccer team gathers in Barranquilla to prepare for their game this Thursday in San Cristóbal, Venezuela, all eyes have been on Colombian captain James Rodriguez. According to sources, the Colombian has looked good in training sessions, but will be held out of Thursday’s game with the hope of using him the following Tuesday against arch rival Brazil.
Colombian head coach José Nestor Pékerman has not said who will replace Rodriguez in Thursday’s starting lineup, but Edwin Cardona is the most likely candidate. Cardona, who plays for Argentina’s Boca Juniors, has is known as an aggressive midfielder with a powerful shot and should be adequate against last place Venezuela, who has only one victory in qualifying and 6 total points.
If Pékerman decides to go in another direction, other options to replace James include Yimmi Chará, Teófilo Gutiérrez and Giovanni Moreno.
James is said to be training with the team and able to participate in Thursday’s game. However, given the chance that he could suffer a relapse, the Colombian national team, along with Bayern, have jointly decided to withhold him.