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HomeNewsEngland vs. France Preview, Squad Report & Prediction

England vs. France Preview, Squad Report & Prediction

England and France square off in the final quarterfinal after defeating Senegal and Poland.

 

Team Form

England

Before contributing significantly to Harry Kane’s 52nd England goal just before halftime, Bellingham set up Jordan Henderson for the game’s opening goal in the 38th minute. 

Gareth Southgate’s decision to introduce Bukayo Saka to the team was also vindicated when the player made it three for England after 57 minutes.

England is in terrific shape after three games without giving up a goal at the World Cup. Southgate may become the first Three Lions manager to take his team to more than one semi-final. Still, the most formidable of tough opponents lies in their way.

However, England has a history of losing in the quarterfinals; they were eliminated at this stage in 1954, 1962, 1970, 1986, 2002, and 2006 tournaments. Six of their previous eight World Cup exits have involved opponents from the same continent.

England World Cup Form: W D W W

France

Giroud scored the game’s first goal, moving the 36-year-old ahead of Thierry Henry at the top of the men’s goalscoring chart. Mbappe then scored two more devastating goals to end the match until a retaken Lewandowski penalty gave Poland a late consolation.

Les Bleus are still without a clean sheet at the 2022 World Cup and lost both of their previous encounters with England in 1966 and 1982. However, more recent history does not favor the Three Lions.

Didier Deschamps’s team has won eight out of ten knockout matches against other UEFA nations. They have advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in five of the previous seven editions, including each of their last three.

France World Cup Form: W W L W

 

Squad Report

England

Raheem Sterling, a Chelsea attacker who returned to the UK over the weekend, had his home broken into, partly overshadowing England’s victory over Senegal. However, Sterling will be back with the team on Friday and should strive for inclusion. Ben White of Arsenal continues to be absent due to personal reasons.

Declan Rice’s absence from training on Wednesday due to illness gave Southgate a little fright. Still, his illness is unlikely to keep him from playing on Saturday. Callum Wilson has recovered from a minor strain but was never expected to start.

France

Mbappe, the leading scorer for the French team, missed practice on Tuesday because of ankle pain, but this was only a false scare as the 23-year-old was back on the practice fields on Wednesday and should continue in the starting lineup.

 

England’s possible starting lineup:

Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Bellingham, Rice, Henderson; Saka, Kane, Foden

 

France’s possible starting lineup:

Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud

 

Head to Head

With 17 victories, nine losses, and five draws, England’s record against France appears strong on paper.

At Euro 2012, England and France last faced off in a competitive match, which resulted in a 1-1 tie. Before it, France overcame the Three Lions in the first match of the 2004 Euros for both teams. 

It would be best if you looked back to the 1982 World Cup to locate England’s most recent victory over France in a competitive setting.

In the summer of 2017, these parties had their most recent formal friendly encounter. Despite being behind 2-0 and having Raphael Varane sent off, France prevailed 3-2.

 

Date, Time & Place

Date: Saturday, December 10

Time: 7:00 pm, UK time

Place: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

 

Prediction

The ability of each nation to suppress Mbappe and Bellingham’s star qualities may determine the outcome of Saturday’s match. 

Still, we are challenged to see how England can win and can only imagine France sending the Three Lions home empty-handed once more.

England 1 – 2 France

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