England Vs France Football Score Match 11 December 2022
It’s Coming Home or Allez Les Bleus will be ringing around the Al Bayt Stadium at the full-time whistle on Saturday evening, as England battle France in their World Cup 2022 quarter-final. The Three Lions put three past Senegal without reply to advance to the last eight, while the reigning champions overcame Poland 3-1 to keep their hopes of back-to-back titles alive. An error-strewn England team looked the most likely to concede in the early stages against Senegal, who did not allow the Three Lions a second to breathe with their effective pressing, but the tide soon turned when 19-year-old Jude Bellingham took the game by the scruff of the neck. Bellingham set up Jordan Henderson for the opening goal in the 38th minute before playing a huge part in Harry Kane’s 52nd England goal just before the break, and Gareth Southgate’s decision to bring Bukayo Saka back into the fold was vindicated, as the Arsenal man made it three for England after 57 minutes.
Southgate was delighted to see his side display a streak of “ruthlessness” in another game where a below-par start led to a familiar sense of dread, and a semi-final with Morocco or Portugal now awaits if the Euro 2020 runners-up can send the holders packing. However, quarter-final exits have been commonplace for England, who have been dumped out at this stage in the 1954, 1962, 1970, 1986, 2002 and 2006 tournaments, and six of their last eight World Cup eliminations have come against fellow European nations. A three-game streak without conceding a goal at the World Cup does stand England in good stead, and Southgate could now become the first Three Lions manager in history to lead the team to more than one semi-final, but the most formidable of formidable foes is standing in their way. As Kane came up with a 52nd international goal to edge closer to the England record, Olivier Giroud’s 52nd strike was enough to see the AC Milan attacker storm to the top of the France charts, as Les Bleus displayed a clinical edge that Robert Lewandowski’s Poland had no answer to.
Mbappe turned provider for Giroud to fire home the opening goal, which saw the 36-year-old overtake Thierry Henry at the summit of the men’s goalscoring list, and the former soon came up with two thunderous finishes to put the game to bed before a retaken Lewandowski penalty gave Poland a late consolation. Giroud still has some way to go to become France’s outright leading goalscorer – Eugenie Le Sommer has a staggering 86 to her name – but the veteran’s strength and link-up play complements the explosiveness of Mbappe perfectly, and England’s rearguard will have their work cut out for them here. France have now reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in five of the last seven editions – including each of their last three – and Didier Deschamps’s men have prevailed in eight of their last 10 knockout ties against fellow UEFA nations, but they are yet to silence all the critics.
Indeed, Les Bleus are still without a clean sheet at the 2022 World Cup and have actually lost both of their previous meetings with England at the tournament in 1966 and 1982, but more recent history does not favour the Three Lions, who can only boast one win from their last eight against the champions of the world. England’s win over Senegal was somewhat overshadowed by the news of a break-in at the home of Chelsea attacker Raheem Sterling, who flew back to the UK over the weekend, but he will be back with the squad on Friday and should push for inclusion. Arsenal’s Ben White is also still absent for personal reasons. Callum Wilson has recovered from a minor strain but was never expected to start, and Southgate was also been handed a slight scare with Declan Rice, who missed training on Wednesday due to illness, although his ailment is unlikely to prevent him from playing on Saturday.
Many have tipped Southgate to revert to a three-man backline for the weekend, but the 52-year-old has hinted that he will stick with the tried-and-tested 4-3-3 setup that has paid dividends so far, allowing Henderson to link up with Rice and Bellingham in the midfield once more. Over at the Bleus camp, a media frenzy was sparked when top scorer Mbappe missed training on Tuesday due to discomfort in his ankle, but it was merely a false alarm, as the 23-year-old was back on the practice pitches on Wednesday and should form part of an unchanged XI. Incredibly, France have won all nine of their World Cup matches that Mbappe has started, and his attacking partner Giroud – who has three goals to his name in Qatar – could equal a record set by a 38-year-old Roger Milla, who to date is the only 36+ player to score four goals at a single World Cup. Aurelien Tchouameni and Jules Kounde will both miss any potential semi-final if they are yellow-carded here, but Deschamps is unlikely to factor in any on-field disciplinary infringements when selecting his best XI.
The World Cup quarter-finals continue on Saturday as Portugal face Morocco before England take on France; Jones Knows is back with predictions and thinks England and Portugal will both win their last-eight ties to set up a mouth-watering semi-final Morocco’s defensive numbers at this World Cup are nothing short of sensational. They have yet to concede a goal from an opposition player – their only goal shipped was a Nayef Aguerd own goal vs Canada. And when you consider they have played Croatia, Belgium and Spain over that sample size it’s a ridiculous achievement made even more ridiculous by their expected goals against data that backs up their actual goals conceded output. In those three matches against the European giants, Morocco conceded an average of just 0.83 expected goals per match and just two shots on target – and that included an extra 30 minutes against Spain. If a team in the Premier League were putting up those sorts of numbers you’d be backing them for a top-four finish.
My worry for trusting them to give their true running in this encounter is the emotional and physical toll the win over Spain will have taken. Aguerd and Roman Saiss both suffered injuries in the penalty shootout win and losing that cohesion at the back for such an in-form defensive unit is a huge negative when playing such a dangerous side like Portugal, who looked a team reborn without the shackles of the overwhelming presence of Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch. They were fast, fluid and clinical in their surprise 6-1 demolition job on Switzerland. If they repeat such attacking brilliance then a tired Morocco won’t be able to cope. However, I never like to trust one run or performance in isolation. This one is certainly just a watching brief from a betting perspective with so many unknowns in terms of team news.