England face their toughest test of their World Cup campaign on Saturday night as the Three Lions go up against 2018 winners France in the quarter-finals.
It’s expected to be an epic battle at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar.
Both teams are group winners and cruised through their Round of 16 matches on Sunday, with England beating Senegal 3-0 and France topping Poland 3-1.
Gareth Southgate’s men have dominated in all of their games in Qatar apart from their 0-0 draw against USA in the group stages.
England have scored 12 goals en route to the quarter-finals and conceded twice.
Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford have three goals apiece, and the likes of Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish also are elite attackers.
Kane has one goal and three assists and was in excellent form in the Premier League, where he ranks second with 12 goals.
The emergence of Jude Bellingham could be the difference for England.
The 19-year-old has registered a goal and an assist and could help England win the midfield battle along with Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice and Mason Mount.
England have three straight clean sheets with Jordan Pickford being outstanding as the goalie.
Les Bleus have scored nine goals in four matches, and Kylian Mbappe has five of those to top Pele with the most World Cup goals before age 24.
Mbappe has 19 goals and five assists in 20 total matches for PSG this season.
Olivier Giroud also has gotten a chance in Benzema’s absence, and he has scored three goals to surpass Thierry Henry as France’s all-time top scorer with 52 goals.
If England has to win, Kyle Walker will have to stop France’s talisman Kylian Mbappé on Saturday.
Recent Head to Head
England have a good record against France over the years, picking up 17 wins, 5 draws and just 9 defeats from the pair’s 31 previous encounters.
However, in more recent years, France have had the edge over the English but the last three meetings between the two nations have produced one win, one draw and one defeat each.
England Likely 11
Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Henderson, Rice, Bellingham; Saka, Kane, Foden.
France Likely 11
Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappé; Giroud.
Who will win
England have been strong defensively in this tournament and know how to score goals.
France have struggled defensively at times and face a very tough test against this England attack.
We expect England to win 2-1.