England predicted lineup vs France - World Cup quarter-final

Grey Whitebloom
Gareth Southgate has won a record 11 matches at major tournaments as England men's manager
Gareth Southgate has won a record 11 matches at major tournaments as England men's manager / Richard Sellers/GettyImages
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A prolific England side face the reigning world champions France in the World Cup quarter-final on Saturday night.

Gareth Southgate's Three Lions have already scored 12 goals at this tournament - that's one more than Sir Alf Ramsey's champions managed across the entire competition in 1966. It's also three more than France's feted attack, led by Kylian Mbappe, have mustered in Qatar.

Here's the XI Southgate may deploy to keep his goal-laden side in the competition.



England predicted lineup vs France (4-3-3)

Jude Bellingham
Jude Bellingham has made more tackles than any other English player at the World Cup (11) / ATPImages/GettyImages

GK: Jordan Pickford - After shutting out Senegal, Pickford is the first English goalkeeper to oversee three consecutive sheets at a men's World Cup since David Seaman in 2002. Ominously, Seaman's next match after that sequence was a quarter-final defeat.

RB: Kyle Walker - Billed as the "man to stop Mbappe" by Poland's Matty Cash - who was left with burning legs after his head-to-head with the jet-heeled forward.

CB: John Stones - Whether Southgate opts for a back-three or sticks with his four-man rearguard, Stones is all but certain of a starting berth.

CB: Harry Maguire - Ghana's vice president Mahamudu Bawumia was likened to Maguire as part of a strained critique from the MP Isaac Adongo in parliament this month.

LB: Luke Shaw - The Manchester United fullback ranked the England camps he missed because of minor injuries as “my biggest regret”.

CM: Jordan Henderson - One of the experienced core in England's squad made his international debut under Fabio Capello against France in 2010. England lost 2-1.

CM: Declan Rice - While employing a liberal use of the word "faultless", Rice hit back at critics that don't give his side "the credit we deserve in our performances".

CM: Jude Bellingham - Arguably England's best performer this winter didn't start playing football until 2010. At the time he "didn't really enjoy it". He certainly does now.

RW: Bukayo Saka - Ever the humble young man, Saka was quick to play down comparisons to France's star winger. "Thank you for your compliment," Saka said ahead of the quarter-final, "but no...I think there's only one Kylian Mbappe!"

ST: Harry Kane - Just one goal shy of Wayne Rooney's all-time record for the England national team, Kane has already eclipsed Gary Lineker's total of major tournament goals for the Three Lions.

LW: Phil Foden - Despite playing less than half of the available minutes, three-quarters of England's World Cup goals have come while Foden has been on the pitch.


Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders, Sean Walsh, Ali Rampling and Brian Goldfarb to look back on the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil - join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

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