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England v France World Cup quarter-final preview

England and France meet in the last eight of the World Cup on Saturday evening in what looks set to be an all-action clash in Al Khor.

The pair have netted a combined 21 goals in Qatar and with England 6/1 and holders France 4/1 in the To Win Outright market, there feels a real chance that the fourth and final quarter-final could produce the overall winner. 

Add in that they have only conceded six between them and it is clear that Saturday's game is a contest between two of the international elite. 

England are 11/10 To Qualify, with the holders France 8/11 and, with so much quality on show, both Gareth Southgate and Didier Deschamps may have to strap in and hold tight as their talented teams go into battle.

What: England v France 
Where: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor 
When: 19:00, Saturday 10th December 
How to watch: ITV 
Odds: England 2/1, Draw 9/4, France 7/5

Goals likely in Al Khor

This will be the 32nd meeting between the nations and the first competitive fixture since playing out a 1-1 draw in the group stages of Euro 2012.

Their last World Cup meeting was at Spain '82 when Bryan Robson's goal after just 27 seconds inspired the Three Lions to a 3-1 victory in Bilbao.

However, with both sides having been relatively slow starters in this tournament, such early fireworks in their first-ever knockout clash at a World Cup are unlikely, with Adrien Rabiot's 27th-minute strike against Australia the earliest either have found the net.

Therefore, No Goal before 31:00 at 5/6 could be on the agenda but the attacking talent on show should open up the game once the teams settle.

Add in that despite keeping three clean sheets in Qatar, there remain question marks over England's defence, while France have conceded in all four of their games, then over 3.5 goals in the Total Goals market might tempt punters at 11/4.

Bet on England v France

How do you solve a problem like Mbappe?

The real puzzle for England is how to stop Kylian Mbappe. The Paris Saint-Germain forward leads the Golden Boot race with five goals and is 4/7 to finish the tournament as Top Goalscorer.

With him usually stationed on the left of Les Bleus' attack, Mbappe is likely to come up against Kyle Walker. However, the Manchester City man might not be alone, with Southgate having the option to switch to a back three.

That would probably see Kieran Trippier, who started the first two games of the tournament, come in as a wing-back, while Jordan Henderson is also expected to be called upon to cover from the right of central midfield, as he so often does for Liverpool.

Either way, after scoring twice against both Denmark and Poland, it feels inevitable that the 23-year-old will find the net and he is 7/4 to do so in the Anytime market.

That said, the danger for England could be focusing too much on Mbappe and ignoring Olivier Giroud.

While often overlooked during his times with Arsenal and Chelsea, the 36-year-old has reaffirmed his importance to his country during the current tournament, scoring three times to reach 52 goals and surpass Thierry Henry as France's record goalscorer.

Giroud is 12/5 in the Anytime Goalscorers market and will clearly be a threat at the All Bayt Stadium.

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England can roar

However, England have attacking threats of their own. That might be tempered if Southgate decides to switch to a back three but he will still start with Harry Kane, who scored his first goal of the tournament in Sunday's 3-0 last 16 win over Senegal, and at least one of Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford, all of whom have found the net in Qatar.

Kane scored twice the last time these sides met, a 3-2 friendly win for France in June 2017, a wide-open and expansive game and another case of two or more goals for the England captain at 12/1 would be timely.

He will also be facing a French defence that has undergone several makeovers during the tournament and were fully stretched in Sunday’s 3-1 first knockout round win over Poland.

Les Blues’ right-back Jules Kounde has also publically admitted he does not feel comfortable in the role and would prefer to play centrally.

England have scored three or more goals three times at the current World Cup and are 7/1 to score over 2.5 on Saturday.

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