The World Champions will have a tough task in hand against the Three Lions.

England and France are facing each other competitively for the first time since the World Cup back in 1982. The English triumphed over the Les Blues back then 3-1 with the help of a Bryan Robson brace.
At FIFA World Cup 2022, the focus will be at the Al Bayt Stadium, on Saturday, 10th December 2022 as England and France meet again in the quarter-finals. It is the first time the nations have met in any competition since Les Bleus won a friendly 3-2 in June 2017. England also holds the edge over the head-to-head record. Hence let’s look at the combined 11 from both teams who’ll look to produce the goods in the game.

Formation: 4-3-1-2

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris

The French captain has always been a standout player for his side and always leads from the front with crucial saves. The Tottenham goalkeeper will be looking to lift the World Cup on back-to-back occasions here in Qatar. He created history as the third captain in history to win back-to-back World Cups.

Right-back: Kyle Walker

The Manchester City right-back has recovered back in time to make the crucial round of 16 clashes against Senegal. He dealt well with the pacy threat of Ismaila Sarr, and ended up with a clean sheet and a 3-0 win. A lot has been said about how his pace will be key to stopping Kylian Mbappe and he’s rightly gotten into the eleven.

Centre-back: Raphael Varane

Varane came back from an injury to the World Cup. (Courtesy: The Express Tribune)

The four-time Champions League winner and World Cup holder with France looks back to his best after suffering from a knee injury which almost ruled him out of Qatar. However, Didier Deschamps has restored him into the French starting lineup immediately after being declared fit, such is his trust in the Manchester United man. Despite near Man of the Match performances from his able replacement Ibrahima Konate. He kept Lewandowski quiet alongside his defensive partner Dayot Upemecano and will look to do the same against Harry Kane and Co.

Centre-back: Harry Maguire

The former Manchester United captain has been a revelation as his manager Gareth Southgate expected him to be in an England shirt. As the centre-back has rarely put a foot wrong alongside John Stones in defence. His aerial threat and leadership skills have been vital as England kept back-to-back clean sheets in the last two games, and will look to do more of the same against the French.

Left-back: Luke Shaw

Another heavily criticised Manchester United defender, like his counterpart Maguire has shone for England in the past as well as here at the World Cup in Qatar. Shaw has looked in his best shape in the last couple of years at the World Cup. His ability is clear for everyone to see on the pitch his strong physical presence in the box, combined with speed and agility. On the ball moving forward makes him the best left-back out there as Theo Hernandez narrowly misses out on this spot.

Central Midfield: Jude Bellingham

Jude Bellingham scored one goal and made an assist for Jordan Henderson. (Courtesy: The Week UK)

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been a man for the England National team here in Qatar. He has truly taken to the World Cup stage like a hugely accomplished and complete footballer, which is astonishing for the performances of a 19-year-old teenager. He set up a goal for veteran Jordan Henderson and went on a memorable solo run which resulted in a clinical counter-attack finish for Harry Kane, in a 3-0 rout of Senegal in the last round. He’s been the standout midfielder in the World Cup and will look to replicate that in a big-match scenario against defending champions France.

Central Midfield: Aurelien Tchouameni

Another young midfielder who’s caught the attention of the footballing world, since joining Real Madrid for €100m (£86m) in the summer of 2022. The 22-year-old has made up for the absence of stalwarts Pogba and Kante. He has covered the most grass in midfield while also showing guile and creativity by being the pivot to connect his defence with the attack. He’s a must-have for any team currently and walks in the combined 11 as well.

Attacking Midfield: Antoine Griezmann

The Euro 2016 golden boot winner has been an ever-known presence in Didier Deschamp’s plans. He has played a crucial role in creating chances and combining brilliantly with Mbappe and Giroud for all the French goals upfront in Qatar. The Atletico Madrid forward looks like a complete player after rejoining from Barcelona. He looks focused to help his nation find World Cup glory again here in Qatar.

Right Winger: Phil Foden

The Manchester City prodigy has now become a must-have in Gareth Southgate’s lineup. Ever since being introduced in the starting lineup against Wales and Senegal. He repaid the faith with a goal and two assists respectively in both games. His ability and agility on the ball make him a must in England as well as a combined 11.

Centre-Forward: Harry Kane

The top scorer from the last World Cup in Russia has not fired on all cylinders like before, scoring only once against Iran. However, there has been an evolution in the England captain’s performances this tournament in Qatar as he’s turned provider and a creative spark for younger forwards Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford, both with three goals each, with his three assists, which is joint top at the World Cup. Hence, he undeniably makes the 11.

Left Winger: Kylian Mbappe

Arguably the best player in the World Cup and the top scorer in Qatar, with 5 goals to his name already. He looks as determined and focused as ever to win another World Cup and seal his legacy alongside Pele, of winning back-to-back World Cups having already broken his combined World Cup scoring tally of 7 goals before 24. Easy choice and the key man to look out for tomorrow.

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