ENGLAND face France in the Quarter-finals of the World Cup, at the Al Bayt Stadium. The fixture is set to be the most-watched game so far on television in the UK. Here are five reasons England can cause a shock and beat the reigning World Cup holders.Embed from Getty Images
- GARETH SOUTHGATE: the 52-year-old has guided England to a World Cup semi-final & European Championship final during his England manager tenure so far. With the Last 16 win over Senegal, Southgate is now the record-holding England manager with six tournament knock-out matches won. He has been flexible with his selections and formations and now has great tournament experience to add to his calm nature.
- HARRY KANE: England’s captain finally opened his goal-scoring account at this World Cup with a well-taken finish in England’s 3-0 win against Senegal. The Spurs talisman has had to be patient for his chance to score. However, he has also contributed three assists to prove his greater worth. His knowledge of how to get the best of Tottenham team-0mate Hugo Lloris in the France goal could also give England an edge.
- RAHEEM STERLING: the Chelsea forward is back in Qatar and will be involved after having to return to England to cope with a domestic burglary. He could be a surprise starter or used as an impact substitute to help get his country over the line later on in the match.
- CALLUM WILSON: England’s secret weapon has looked like a real threat when he has come on as a sub for Kane. The Newcastle striker has already laid on an assist and what a time this match will be to score his first ever World Cup goal. Wilson’s ability to run in behind might just give England that change of style of play needed to grab a goal in a match that will be tight and suit a super-sub.
- HEAD-TO-HEAD: it may come as a surprise, but Gareth Southgate’s England side hold the upper hand in this classic fixture. With 31 meeting between the nations England have won seventeen times. In comparison, France have defeated England just nine times. This isn’t the first time either side have faced each other at a World Cup, having done so twice, most notably for England in 1966 on route to win the World Cup.