The last quarter-final clash of the FIFA World Cup 2022 will feature world No 4 France taking on England.
While France is looking forward to becoming the first side after Brazil in 1958 and 62 to win two World Cups in a row, England is trying to utilize a young and robust side to lift the cup for the second time.
We now have a look at a few key things to watch out for in the encounter
1. Marauding Mbappe – Kylian Mbappe’s devastating form will be the first thing that Gareth Southgate’s men will need to find an antidote to. The 23-year-old, who played a vital role in France’s World Cup triumph four years ago is back with sublime touch again, scoring 5 goals and being the tournament’s top scorer. British defenders Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and John Stone will have their task cut out on Saturday.
2. Historic rivalry – In a football rivalry that dates back to 99 years, England and France have so far played 31 matches with each other where the Three Lions have come out on top on 17 occasions, while Les Bleus won nine games and 5 were adjudged drawn. However, France has the momentum, having turned victorious in their last encounter and also being the defending World Champions. They will look forward to a tenth victory overall against the Brits.
3. Big probability of a high-scoring battle – England and France rank amongst the high-scoring teams in the World Cup with the English side having 12 goals to its name while the French have piled up 10 for themselves. With Mbappe leading France from the front and Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka being in good shape, a game with many goals is expected.
4. Jordan Pickford vs Hugo Lloris – With both sides having an impressive attacking line-up, the performance of the respective goalies will be keenly watched. While Pickford has been impressive for England, France will depend heavily on Hugo Lloris, given that they lost an unexpected battle to Tunisia in his absence.
5. Bench strength – As the tournament approaches the business end, the bench strength assumes vital importance. The French have a minor scare as Mbappe sat out of practice a couple of days before the match and would need their star back at all costs. England, who have a stronger bench will have the advantage in that respect.