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2022 World Cup: England face France in the quarter-finals

Reigning World Cup champions France will face England in what is expected to be a tightly contested quarter-final on Saturday.

One of the two European teams hopes to join Croatia and Argentina in the last four of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The French press adopted a confrontational tone, with the front page of Le Parisien reading “Choc royal” and La Provence de Marseille declaring that the French side had a “crown to defend”.

On the other side of the canal, there were similar sounds of sabers.

“There will be respect, but it will be war,” warned former England international captain and ex-Chelsea player John Terry, predicting “a long game”, likening it to a “game of chess”.

He said the game would be a “real test” between the neighbors, who share a rich, if not sometimes turbulent, common history.

The Three Lions and Les Bleus kick off at 8:00 p.m. CET in al-Khor, north of Doha, with the winner facing either Morocco-Portugal who will play at 4:00 p.m. CET.

A victory for France would allow the minimum objective set by the French Football Federation (FFF) to be reached, in addition to probably ensuring an extension for coach Didier Deschamps.

It would also be a strong message: since Brazil in 1998, no defending champion has managed to reach the semi-finals of the next World Cup.

England will be dominant in the stands, with 8,000 English supporters expected against 4,000 French, according to figures provided by the FFF.

There will be 65,000 spectators in all, he added.

On the pitch, however, it is difficult to predict who is the favorite, with the two teams being relatively well matched.

For the English, the public enemy N.1 is Kylian Mbappé, top scorer of the tournament with five goals in four matches, capable of dazzling and devastating accelerations.

“If there’s anyone who can stop Mbappé, it’s Kyle Walker,” John Terry told reporters.

The Manchester City player has already muzzled the PSG striker in the Champions League, “he is undoubtedly the fastest player in the Premier League” and, “defensively, he is very, very strong”.

The Chelsea legend, however, had “a concern” which was that too much attention was paid to this “duel”, forgetting Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and the “other forces” under the tricolor.

England are also not short of ammunition with Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane, their chief fireworks maker with 52 goals on the clock, as much as Giroud, the French record holder, but one less than the Englishman Wayne Rooney.

euronews Gt

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