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Key players in England v France


Dec 6, 2022

After the Three Lions won the battle of the tribes against the Lions of Teranga, easily dispatching of Senegal with a 3-0 win in the round of 16, the stage is now set for a quarter-final rendezvous with defending world champions France at Al Bayt Stadium on December 10.

Aside from a shock defeat to Tunisia in the final game of Group D, in which Didier Deschamps heavily rotated his squad as Les Bleus had already sealed the top spot, Kylian Mbappe and company have made light work of their opponents and are the slight favourites for this matchup in the England v France odds.

It’s going to be a real battle of the titans, with both sides amongst the favourites to win the World Cup. A win over a big rival at this stage of the competition will be massive for the victorious side and could give them the confidence to go all the way and win the trophy at the Lusail Stadium on December 18.

So, with that in mind, read on as we take a look at four players — two from each nation — who could make a difference in the thrilling clash.

Harry Kane

Finally off the mark with a goal against Senegal in the round of 16, Harry Kane is usually a different beast when he gets the taste for scoring. It’s unlikely he’s going to catch Mbappe (five) in the race for the Golden Boot at this stage, but that’s not going to stop him from trying to score crucial goals for England.

Now the Three Lions’ top scorer at major tournaments with 11 strikes, Kane will prove difficult for France’s defence to keep quiet and he could be the difference in England progressing to the semi-finals or not.

Kylian Mbappe

While Les Bleus’ defence have their work cut out to find a solution to keeping Kane at bay, England’s task of keeping Mbappe quiet is arguably harder. The Paris Saint-Germain star is on red-hot form, scoring in all but one of France’s games thus far (his cameo appearance in the loss to Tunisia) to take his tally to five — two clear of anyone else in the top scorer chart.

With two assists to his name as well, he will be a nightmare for Kyle Walker to contain on the left-hand side of the field.

Jude Bellingham

One of England’s biggest stars at this World Cup, the Three Lions’ fanbase were excited to see Jude Bellingham pair up alongside Declan Rice in midfield. But nobody could have quite predicted the 19-year-old to perform as admirably as he has to this point.

The Borussia Dortmund man, who has a goal and an assist to this name in the Middle East, could be the key to England winning the battle of midfield against France.

Adrien Rabiot

Conversely, Adrien Rabiot will be hoping to rule the roost in the middle. Central midfield was a major area of concern for France as Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante both failed to make it back to fitness in time for the World Cup, but the Juventus man has stepped up to the mark.

Rabiot’s work rate on both sides of the ball has been impressive, with a goal and an assist in France’s opener against Australia, while he’s made 10 tackles, five interceptions, three clearances and a block as well.



By admin