Unchanged England Team will Face France in quarter-final
Gareth Southgate has named an unchanged side for England’s World Cup quarter-final against France on Saturday evening.
The Three Lions ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Senegal in their last-16 tie last weekend, however, the threat of France’s talisman Kylian Mbappe has led to speculation over Southgate’s tactics this evening.
Mbappe, who has scored five goals at the World Cup so far, represents France’s biggest threat but Southgate has resisted the temptation to play a back three and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker will be tasked with keeping the Paris Saint-Germain forward quiet.
In midfield, Jordan Henderson keeps his place in midfield alongside Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice.
When asked if it was a simple decision to stick with the same team, England manager Gareth Southgate told ITV: ‘No, it’s never simple we’ve got strength in depth and you’re always thinking about the opponent as well but we’ve been on a good path and I think we needed to stay on that track really.’
Asked why he turned down the chance to select a three-man defence, Southgate said: ‘I think our midfield have been really important and you can lose a player in there with some back-three systems.
‘We feel we’ve got to get pressure on France and cut the supply the fact we get a player further up the pitch in our attacking play.
When asked to name the biggest quality England need against France, Southgate said: ‘It’s belief.
‘We need men on the pitch in these big nights you’ve got to stand up and go to the depths to be able to get a result.
‘We’re playing well, we’ve got confidence, this will be a huge test of that but it’s great to be coming into this game feeling the way we do.’
England vs France history
This will be only the second meeting at a World Cup between these two European superpower nations, and the first since 1982.
In total, France and England have shared the pitch 31 times since their first meeting 99 years ago. The Three Lions lead on the head-to-head, winning 17 games, drawing five and losing to Les Bleus nine times.
Here, we look back at both World Cup clashes between the two nations.