England are gearing up for their toughest game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup: their quarterfinal clash with defending champions France.
These two European powerhouses will lock horns in the second of Saturday's two fixtures, with Portugal facing Morocco in the early kick-off. So far, the Three Lions have been impressive this tournament, scoring the joint-most number of goals (tied with Portugal at 12) while registering the joint-most number of clean sheets (tied with Morocco at three).
However, fans across the globe are wondering how Southgate's men will fare against Mbappe and Co. and, more importantly, who he will field in this crucial showdown. Will the England manager revert to a back three in order to thwart the sizzling-hot Kylian and will there be a shake-up to the Foden-Kane-Saka attacking trio?
According to several reports coming out of the UK, such as the Daily Mail and Sky Sports, Southgate will name an unchanged lineup for this exciting fixture. This means that England will stick to a back four against the deadly French.
| England expected XI vs. France: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Bellingham, Rice, Henderson, Saka, Foden, Kane.— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 10, 2022
England are expected to be unchanged from their 3-0 win over Senegal for France this evening.
[via @RobDorsettSky]. #ENG #FRA #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/4GKQrTMhIf
Additionally, both Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka, who are excelling in Qatar, will join the national team captain in the front line, meaning Marcus Rashford — who is the country's joint-top scorer at this tournament — will remain on the bench.
Kyle Walker will be in for an unmissable battle with Mbappe on the right, but with Olivier Giroud playing down the middle and Ousmane Dembele bombing down England's left-hand flank, it will be a huge mistake from Southgate to neglect Deschamps' other attackers.
The winner of this fixture will meet Morocco or Portugal in the semifinals. After making it to the penultimate stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Three Lions will look to go all the way this time around.
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