England vs France: It Does Not Get Any Bigger Than This

England vs France: It Does Not Get Any Bigger Than This

The curtain has closed for the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and its quarterfinal matches are about to be held this Friday. In those eight matches, seven of the eight group winners went through to the next round of knockout stages, with only the Group E winner Japan bowing out from the tournament after an impressive run (Wins over former world champions Germany and Spain).

In the last eight of the tournament, the heavyweight clash between the Three Lions and Les Bleus is the most talked-about match of all four fixtures. Saturday’s match will be the 32nd meeting between both sides, with England currently leading the head-to-head record in all competitions with 17 wins. Nonetheless, both teams have not played each other since the 2017’s international friendly that saw Les Bleus overcome the Three Lions in Stade de France, Paris.

Fire Power at Their Very Best

The 1966 FIFA World Cup champion England has shrugged off their poor and winless Nation Leagues campaign, scoring the most goals (12) in their three group fixtures and quarterfinal, with eight players having scored already in the tournament. The defending world champion France, on the other hand, fared slightly behind their European counterpart with nine goals in four matches and only three scorers so far. The Three Lions-Les Bleus clash will see two of the most attacking football nations in the tournament face off and goals are most likely guaranteed.

Rejuvenated English Defence, France Has Done Fine Too

Gareth Southgate’s squad had come a long way to revive its defence, after conceding 10 goals in six matches in the League A Group 3 of the Nations League; The team has since then been relegated to the lower-tier of the competition. But its defence, made up of Manchester club defenders, two each from United and City, have been able to carry out their defensive duties perfectly in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with Everton’s Jordan Pickford keeping three consecutive clean sheets after conceding two goals in their opener against Iran.

Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus made less mistakes on the defensive end as well despite losing many players to injuries prior and during the World Cup. They had been scored four times in four matches, but moments of sheer brilliance by Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé have allowed the two-time world champion to ease past their opponents.

England is going into the game with a huge positive momentum, but let us not forget their opponents were not as strong as France’s in their section, hence neither teams are the match favourite in any case. The biggest questions looming for the match are, can Mbappé and co penetrate the solid England backwall and the agile shot stopper Pickford or will the Three Lions continue to fire from all cylinders? Give us your thoughts.

Did you know that Hakimi, who scored the winning penalty against La Roja, was born in Spain?

(Photo Credits: Pro Soccer Wire)

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