England will look to make it into a third straight semi-final at a major tournament as they go up against France in the World Cup quarter-finals in Qatar.
Gareth Southgate led the Three Lions to their first final-four spot since 1996 when he guided them to the semi-finals in Russia four years ago, before going one further at last summer’s Euros – where England fell to Italy on penalties in the final.
France represent arguably the toughest challenge for this iteration of England, however, having won the World Cup in Russia and already broken the curse of defending champions exiting in the group stage.
Les Bleus topped their group before defeating Poland in the last 16, while England also came first in their pool and then saw off Senegal in the round of 16. Here’s all you need to know:
When is it?
The match is scheduled to kick off at 7pm GMT (10pm local time) on Saturday 10 December.
The fixture is set to take place at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
How can I watch it?
England vs France will air live on ITV 1 in the UK, and it will stream live on the broadcaster’s ITVX website and app.
What is the team news?
Raheem Sterling is not expected to face France despite returning to England’s World Cup squad in Qatar, as Gareth Southgate is concerned over his lack of preparation time. Sterling returned to England this week after his home was targeted by burglars, but the forward is back in Qatar in time for this quarter-final.
Elsewhere, Declan Rice is fit to face the defending champions after missing a training session due to illness earlier this week, while Callum Wilson has shaken off an injury niggle.
France star Mbappe missed training on Tuesday due to an apparent ankle issue, but the forward was back on the pitch a day later, fortunately for Les Bleus.
England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Henderson, Rice, Bellingham; Foden, Kane, Saka.
France XI: Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot, Griezmann; Dembele, Giroud, Mbappe.
England – 2/1
France – 29/20
Draw (90 minutes only) – 9/4
Some more pessimistic England fans have claimed that France will steamroll Southgate’s side. The truth is that, even with France as favourites, games like this tend to be cagey, which is worth bearing in mind. England’s last two major tournament exits have come after the team has led, so don’t be surprised if they score first here – only to be undone by France’s greater quality in the long run. England 1-2 France after extra time.
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