2022 World Cup: Champions France take on England in blockbuster clash

Football news) The Al Bayt Stadium will be rocking during France vs England’s quarter-final match at the 2022 World Cup. The Three Lions scored three past Senegal in the Round of 16 while Les Bleus overcame Poland 3-1 to keep their consecutive title hopes alive. Bellingham has been one of Southgate’s standout performers in the tournament so far, providing the assist for Henderson to score against the African side and was instrumental in Harry Kane scoring just before the break. A victory for either side will mean they will face Morocco or Portugal in the semi-final.

England has a history of being knocked out of the quarter-finals of World Cups, failing to progress into the semi-finals in 1954, 1962, 1970, 1986, 2002 and 2006 tournaments. However, one cannot help but feel it will be different this time around as the Three Lions have gone three games without conceding a goal but face a tough test against Kylian Mbappe and the rest of the France side. Olivier Giroud became top scorer for France after netting his 52nd goal against Poland and the veteran combines brilliantly with Mbappe in a lethal attacking combination. France have reached the quarter-finals in five of the last seven editions but have lost their previous two meetings against England in 1966 and 1982.

In team news, Raheem Sterling is back in the squad and could feature in some capacity against France but Arsenal’s Ben White is unavailable due to personal reasons. Declan Rice did not train on Wednesday due to illness but should be available while Callum Wilson has recovered from a minor strain. Southgate is expected to go with his tried and tested 4-3-3 formation which means Henderson will link up with Bellingham and Rice in the middle of the park. 

As for France, Mbappe missed Tuesday’s training session due to discomfort in his ankle but the 23 year old has been training from Wednesday onwards. France has won all nine World Cup matches in which Mbappe has started and Didier Deschamps is expected to name an unchanged lineup. If Giroud scores, he will become the first place since 38 year old Roger Miller to become a 36+ age footballer to score four goals in a single World Cup. Aurelien Tchouameni and Jules Kounde could miss out on a semi-final clash if they get a yellow card against England but that will not affect Deschamps’ team selection this time around.

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


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