World Cup 2022: 4 Major Battles That Will Decide England vs France

World Cup 2022: 4 Major Battles That Will Decide England vs France

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:19 PM
In this article:
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup
Antoine Griezmann logo
Atletico Madrid logoFFrance logo
Harry Kane logo
Bayern Munich logoFEngland logo
Kylian Mbappé logo
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) logoFFrance logo
Ousmane Dembélé logo
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) logoFFrance logo
  • England and France meet on Saturday in a do-or-die 2022 World Cup quarter-final clash
  • Kylian Mbappe versus Kyle Walker has been tipped to be the biggest battle of the match
  • There are other key battles under the radar which could impact the outcome of the game

Much has been said about the mouth-watering 2022 World Cup quarter-final clash between England and France on Saturday.

For Gareth Southgate and Didier Deschamps, it is win or go home. Therefore, the two coaches have probably pondered the best way to approach the game and win it.

For this reason, several players are certainly going to be key for the two sides - who carries the biggest threat and how will the opponent react?

Jude Bellingham, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Raphael Varane, England, France, 2022 World Cup, Didier Deschamps, Gareth Southgate
Jude Bellingham, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane and Raphael Verane are keys to England vs France in the World Cup quarter-finals. Photo by FIFA.
Source: Getty Images

The last time these two sides met in a competitive clash was in the 2012 European championship which ended 1-1.

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France beat the Three Lions in Euro 2004 by two goals to one. However, things are significantly different now.

Both sides boast some of the most talented footballers in the world.

Kylian Mbappe vs Kyle Walker was talked about even before the tournament began.

Here are the 4 key battles that will likely define this encounter that promises to be epic, according to BT.

Key battles in England vs France

1. Kyle Walker vs Kylian Mbappe

England right-back Walker will have arguably the biggest job in the game - stopping the best player at the 2022 World Cup, Kylian Mbappe. The PSG star has five goals in Qatar. His pace, ability on the ball, trickery and eye for goal make him a threatening opponent.

Still, Walker has proven that he has the pace to recover against the 23-year-old winger. Although it will be hard to completely nullify Mbappe, the 32-year-old has the ability to restrict him.

2. Harry Maguire vs Olivier Giroud

Giroud, France's all-time top scorer, can be a menace to any defence in the world. He has three goals in Qatar and is the secret weapon for Les Bleus. For Deschamps, the 36-year-old is the supreme facilitator for Mbappe and company.

Eyebrows were raised when the Manchester United defender was selected for the Three Lions, but he has shut all the critics up. Giroud lacks the pace to worry him, but Maguire will need to beware of his movements, physicality and aerial ability.

3. Antoine Griezmann vs Jude Bellingham

Griezmann's role just behind Giroud makes him an important part of the French team. His intelligence, eye for goals and chance creation will be vital.

Griezmann's role will also be to keep an eye on the outstanding Bundesliga man Jude Bellingham, who has made Southgate's side tick so far. His ball progression and IQ will also play a key part for England.

Antoine Griezzmann, France, England, 2022 World Cup, Kylian Mbappe
Antoine Griezmann's performances in Qatar have gone under the radar. Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto.
Source: Getty Images

4. Ousmane Dembele vs Luke Shaw

Plenty has been said about the Mbappe vs Walker battle, but Dembele vs Shaw is another one to watch out for. Dembele's speed and dribbling will cause Shaw plenty of problems as he isn't as quick as Walker.

However, Shaw's attacking contribution will force the Barcelona winger to use more energy to track the Manchester United left-back, according to Who Scored.

If all players from both countries play to the best of their abilities, we could get a World Cup classic. It will be interesting to see how it pans out, since both coaches are not proactive.

Southgate's warning to France

Sports Brief earlier reported on Southgate promising an attacking approach against France on Saturday evening.

The Three Lions coach has hinted he intends to force Les Bleus into worrying more about how to stop England's array of attacking talent.

Southgate's men are the joint top scorers in the tournament with 12 goals so far from four games in Qatar, but will come up against the firepower of the tournament's top scorer in Mbappe.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.