France vs England match preview: World Cup 2022 quarter-final – Al Jazeera English
Who: England vs Italy
Where: Al Bayt Stadium
When: December 10, 10pm (19: 00 GMT)
Expectations will weigh heavy upon the current world champions France as they head into this high-profile quarter-final matchup against an unbeaten England side that has scored 12 goals in four games and conceded only two.
However, if any team can break this impressive record, it should be France, who brushed aside a spirited Poland in the last 16 after a rampant Kylian Mbappe produced another vintage World Cup performance.
England will have to come up with the plan to contain the in-form and motivated 23-year-old who whipped in a brace to bring his 2022 World Cup tally to five goals and admitted after the match that winning the tournament had become an “obsession”.
Olivier Giroud, Ousmane Dembélé and Antoine Griezmann also enjoyed excellent performances, linking up well and outplaying Poland for large parts of the game. Giroud’s goal against the particular Poles made him France’s all-time top scorer , with 52 goals. But Griezmann with 42 and Mbappe along with 33 also figure among France’s top seven goal-scorers ever — an indication of the once-in-a-generation pedigree that England will face.
But Britain will bring their own exciting balance of experience and young talent in order to the pitch. Manchester City’s Phil Foden, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham have all created fine performances so far this tournament. Raheem Sterling , who obtained in England’s 6-2 win over Iran, has also returned to Qatar after leaving the squad last weekend following a break-in at his home.
Apart from a lacklustre goalless draw against the USA, England have looked inside cruise control for most of their World Cup campaign. After a ropey opening third, England brushed aside Senegal 3-0 in the round of 16 plus will head into the particular quarter-final high on confidence.
England manager Gareth Southgate has warned against complacency ahead associated with the match, saying, “In terms of France, it’s the biggest test we could face. ”
France have conceded in all four matches so far, including a 1-0 loss to Tunisia in their final group-stage game. True, France had already qualified for the round of 16 and fielded the weakened team. Still, the Eagles of Carthage exposed a vulnerability in France’s defence that England’s forwards will look to exploit.
There’s little to choose between the sides in terms of FIFA ranking — France are currently placed fourth with England in fifth. England won both their previous two World Cup meetings in 1966 and 1982.
More recently, coaches Gareth Southgate and Didier Deschamps faced each other in an international friendly within 2017. It was a close affair, with Harry Kane grabbing a brace for England before Mbappe and Dembélé produced a fine second-half performance that would see France as eventual 3-2 winners.
Each of those players is expected to play a key role with regard to their sides on Saturday, in what promises to be a mouthwatering contest. Both sides made it to the semi-finals inside 2018. This time, only one will.