England take on France in the first of the quarter-final ties to be played on 10 December, with the Al Bayt Stadium being the host for the game. Gareth Southgate has been without some important players in the days leading up to the game, giving England an even tougher time when it comes to thinking about how to stop the French football machine.
It remains to be seen if the England side we have seen in previous matches will come out of the tunnel against France or if it will be the one that was happy with a point against the USA. That game is not going to make many people upset that the World Cup only has 5 more games until its conclusion, but the defensive solidity shown by England then will definitely be something that Didier Deschamps will have to navigate through in order to get a result.
Luckily for him, a certain player called Kylian Mbappé is quite good at getting past defences and scoring goals. the PSG forward is already creeping closer to the top echelons of World Cup records. Qatar 2022 is his second World Cup tournament – he won his first – and already Mbappé is one goal away from putting himself within the top-10 goal scorers of the tournament – ever. He is also the youngest player to score 9 goals and has needed only 11 games to do so. England, I know you know this already, but watch out.
Arsenal’s Ben White is out for personal reasons but Raheem Sterling is back in the squad after returning to the Uk following a break in at his home in Surrey. Wilson and Rice both had strains during the week but look to have recovered in time for the game.
Mbappé caused journalist fingers to dance over laptop keyboards at an alarming rate after he missed training on Tuesday, although it was later confirmed that the winger’s treatment inside was a scheduled session and absolutely normal.
England predicted lineup: 4-3-3 (maybe)
PickfordWalker – Stones – Maguire – ShawRice – Henderson – BellinghamSaka – Kane – Foden
France predicted lineup: 4-3-3
LlorisKounde – Varane – Upamecano – T. HernandezTchouameniRabiot – GriezmannDembele – Giroud – Mbappé