England vs France World Cup 2022: Date & Time, Match Preview, Team News, Prediction

Matches at major tournaments don't get much bigger than this, as England take on France at the quarterfinal stage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
December 11, 2022 | 09:18

A matchup that is potentially big enough for a World Cup final itself, let alone a last-eight clash, this tie should deliver plenty of action, as two of the free-scoring sides at the tournament meet.

As well as the overall tactical battle, there will be plenty of individual clashes between world-class stars, including Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe.

Who will win the midfield battle between Jude Bellingham and Aurelien Tchouameni? And who can lock down the opposition's attack between Manchester duo John Stones and Raphael Varane?

Take a look at the picks we've selected below for this heavyweight World Cup matchup.

England vs France match facts

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Date: Saturday, December 10

Kickoff Time: 14:00 ET / 19:00 GMT / 06:00 AEDT (Sun, Dec. 11)

Location: Al Bayt Stadium

Official: Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)

England vs France team news

The biggest question for England will be the status of Raheem Sterling, who travelled home to care for his family after a burglary at his residence. It's unclear whether Sterling will rejoin the squad in Qatar, and that decision will likely be made on a day-by-day basis.

Also back home is Ben White, who is dealing with an undisclosed personal matter. Striker Callum Wilson is dealing with a muscle injury, but the expectation is that it's a minor problem and he should be available for this one.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

France had plenty of pre-tournament injury issues to contend with, as Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, Karim Benzema, Christopher Nkunku, Mike Maignan, and Presnel Kimpembe all found themselves unfit for service, but since the start of the competition they've enjoyed a mostly clean bill of health.

Only Lucas Hernandez is no longer available from the final France roster, having torn his ACL in the opening match, but his brother Theo Hernandez has filled in admirably at left-back and has been one of France's best performers.

Match preview

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.

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 vs France prediction

Score prediction: England 1-2 France (after extra time)

Although England have some of the best young players in world football, France are rightly the favourites to progress in this tie, thanks mostly to their experience advantage.

The majority of their squad tasted success in lifting the World Cup four years, while the majority have also enjoyed success in club football.

That'll likely give them the mental edge here, on top of the fact that they have some of the best attacking players in the world at their disposal.

Kylian Mbappe is in fantastic form, netting five tournament goals so far to lead the Golden Boot race, but players like Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann shouldn't be underestimated. At this tournament, Giroud has overtaken Thierry Henry's all-time goalscoring tally for Les Bleus, while Griezmann has been in scintillating playmaking form, creating 15 chances so far, which is the most of any player in the competition.

England will find joy though. Jude Bellingham has shown his dominating form in the middle of the park so far, and given that he broke his tournament duck last time out against Senegal, marksman Harry Kane will be keen to add to his goal total here.

Kane's link-up play will continue to be dangerous for the French too, as he remains the only player in the tournament with three assists to his name.

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