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England national football team
World Cup | Quarter-Finals
Dec 10, 2022 at 7pm UK
Al Bayt Stadium
France national football team
1 - 2
Kane (54' pen.)
Maguire (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Tchouameni (17'), Giroud (78')
Griezmann (43'), Dembele (46'), Hernandez (82')

Preview: England vs. France - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's World Cup clash between England and France, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

It's Coming Home or Allez Les Bleus will be ringing around the Al Bayt Stadium at the full-time whistle on Saturday evening, as England battle France in their World Cup 2022 quarter-final.

The Three Lions put three past Senegal without reply to advance to the last eight, while the reigning champions overcame Poland 3-1 to keep their hopes of back-to-back titles alive.

Match preview

England manager Gareth Southgate pictured on December 4, 2022© Reuters

An error-strewn England team looked the most likely to concede in the early stages against Senegal, who did not allow the Three Lions a second to breathe with their effective pressing, but the tide soon turned when 19-year-old Jude Bellingham took the game by the scruff of the neck.

Bellingham set up Jordan Henderson for the opening goal in the 38th minute before playing a huge part in Harry Kane's 52nd England goal just before the break, and Gareth Southgate's decision to bring Bukayo Saka back into the fold was vindicated, as the Arsenal man made it three for England after 57 minutes.

Southgate was delighted to see his side display a streak of "ruthlessness" in another game where a below-par start led to a familiar sense of dread, and a semi-final with Morocco or Portugal now awaits if the Euro 2020 runners-up can send the holders packing.

However, quarter-final exits have been commonplace for England, who have been dumped out at this stage in the 1954, 1962, 1970, 1986, 2002 and 2006 tournaments, and six of their last eight World Cup eliminations have come against fellow European nations.

A three-game streak without conceding a goal at the World Cup does stand England in good stead, and Southgate could now become the first Three Lions manager in history to lead the team to more than one semi-final, but the most formidable of formidable foes is standing in their way.

France coach Didier Deschamps on November 22, 2022© Reuters

As Kane came up with a 52nd international goal to edge closer to the England record, Olivier Giroud's 52nd strike was enough to see the AC Milan attacker storm to the top of the France charts, as Les Bleus displayed a clinical edge that Robert Lewandowski's Poland had no answer to.

Mbappe turned provider for Giroud to fire home the opening goal, which saw the 36-year-old overtake Thierry Henry at the summit of the men's goalscoring list, and the former soon came up with two thunderous finishes to put the game to bed before a retaken Lewandowski penalty gave Poland a late consolation.

Giroud still has some way to go to become France's outright leading goalscorer - Eugenie Le Sommer has a staggering 86 to her name - but the veteran's strength and link-up play complements the explosiveness of Mbappe perfectly, and England's rearguard will have their work cut out for them here.

France have now reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in five of the last seven editions - including each of their last three - and Didier Deschamps's men have prevailed in eight of their last 10 knockout ties against fellow UEFA nations, but they are yet to silence all the critics.

Indeed, Les Bleus are still without a clean sheet at the 2022 World Cup and have actually lost both of their previous meetings with England at the tournament in 1966 and 1982, but more recent history does not favour the Three Lions, who can only boast one win from their last eight against the champions of the world.

England World Cup form:

England form (all competitions):

France World Cup form:

France form (all competitions):

Team News

Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring for France on November 26, 2022© Reuters

England's win over Senegal was somewhat overshadowed by the news of a break-in at the home of Chelsea attacker Raheem Sterling, who flew back to the UK over the weekend, but he will be back with the squad on Friday and should push for inclusion. Arsenal's Ben White is also still absent for personal reasons.

Callum Wilson has recovered from a minor strain but was never expected to start, and Southgate was also been handed a slight scare with Declan Rice, who missed training on Wednesday due to illness, although his ailment is unlikely to prevent him from playing on Saturday.

Many have tipped Southgate to revert to a three-man backline for the weekend, but the 52-year-old has hinted that he will stick with the tried-and-tested 4-3-3 setup that has paid dividends so far, allowing Henderson to link up with Rice and Bellingham in the midfield once more.

Over at the Bleus camp, a media frenzy was sparked when top scorer Mbappe missed training on Tuesday due to discomfort in his ankle, but it was merely a false alarm, as the 23-year-old was back on the practice pitches on Wednesday and should form part of an unchanged XI.

Incredibly, France have won all nine of their World Cup matches that Mbappe has started, and his attacking partner Giroud - who has three goals to his name in Qatar - could equal a record set by a 38-year-old Roger Milla, who to date is the only 36+ player to score four goals at a single World Cup.

Aurelien Tchouameni and Jules Kounde will both miss any potential semi-final if they are yellow-carded here, but Deschamps is unlikely to factor in any on-field disciplinary infringements when selecting his best XI.

England possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Bellingham, Rice, Henderson; Saka, Kane, Foden

France possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud

SM words green background

We say: England 1-3 France

The longer this quarter-final goes on, the more it will benefit England, who have an abundance of attacking talent on the bench waiting to make a difference against tired French legs.

On the other hand, Southgate's side have not exploded out of the blocks in their last three World Cup encounters, and the clinical pairing of Mbappe and Giroud will need no second invitation to take advantage of another slow start.

The result of Saturday's game could come down to how well the respective nations can contain Mbappe and Bellingham's star qualities, but we are struggling to see a way for England to prevail and can only envisage France sending the Three Lions home empty-handed again.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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England midfielder Declan Rice pictured with Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate on November 21, 2022
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Group A

Q Netherlands Netherlands32107
Q Senegal flag Senegal32016
3 Ecuador flag Ecuador31114
4 Qatar Qatar30030

Group B

Q England flag England32107
Q United States USA31205
3 Iran Iran31023
4 Wales flag Wales30121

Group C

Q Argentina Argentina32016
Q Poland Poland31114
3 Mexico Mexico31114
4 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia31023

Group D

Q France France32016
Q Australia Australia32016
3 Tunisia Tunisia31114
4 Denmark Denmark30121

Group E

Q Japan Japan32016
Q Spain Spain31114
3 Germany Germany31114
4 Costa Rica flag Costa Rica31023

Group F

Q Morocco Morocco32107
Q Croatia Croatia31205
3 Belgium Belgium31114
4 Canada Canada30030

Group G

Q Brazil Brazil32016
Q Switzerland Switzerland32016
3 Cameroon flag Cameroon31114
4 Serbia Serbia30121

Group H

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Republic of Korea South Korea31114
3 Uruguay flag Uruguay31114
4 Ghana flag Ghana31023

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