The quarter-final stage of the World Cup ends tonight with the biggest draw of all, as England take on France for a place in the last four. Brazil being absent from the tournament and Argentina only qualifying, whoever emerges victorious will have every chance of going all the way in Qatar.
England qualified for the quarter-finals with a win over Senegal, as Harry Kane scored his first World Cup goal. Gareth Southgate’s side continue to impress at major tournaments, but it’s such a big test of their credentials that they’ve had to face.
The main threat to them comes in the form of Kylian Mbappe, who already leads the Golden Boot race with five goals and two assists to his name. The defending champions have been one of Qatar’s most impressive teams and are favorites to get the job done tonight. Follow England v France LIVE below, with expert analysis from Dan Kilpatrick and Nizaar Kinsella at Al Bayt Stadium.
The news of the French team
France are also expected to remain unchanged from their win over Poland in the last 1, with Mbappe fit to return to training after enjoying a day off on Tuesday.
Former Arsenal and Chelsea star Olivier Giroud will lead the line for the defending champions.
Predicts France XI: Loris; Koundé, Varane, Upamecano, Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappé, Giroud.
England team news
Barring late illness or injury concerns, Southgate are set to stay with an unchanged squad and leave with a back-four.
Declan Rice has recovered from an illness and is fit to start. Raheem Sterling will be on the bench after joining the England squad on Friday but is unlikely to feature given his lack of preparation time this week.
Callum Wilson should be fit to take a place on the bench despite struggling this week with what has been described as a minor strain.
Jordan Henderson should be given the responsibility of trying to help Kyle Walker face Kylian Mbappe.
Predicted England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Henderson, Bellingham, Rice; Saka, Kane, Foden.
How to watch England vs France
TV channel: In the UK, the game will be televised free and live on ITV1, with coverage starting at 6pm GMT.
Direct: Fans can also watch the match live online through ITVX and the ITV website.
Live Blog: You can follow all the action here, with expert analysis from Dan Kilpatrick and Nizaar Kinsella on the ground!
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of England v France!
It’s an absolutely massive quarter-final tonight, between two teams with real ambitions to go all the way in Qatar. Defending champion France, England the team finally trying to cross the finish line again in a major tournament.
With Brazil already eliminated and Argentina having had a real scare before qualifying, the winner here is set to lift the World Cup trophy on December 18.
We’ll have all the latest updates, construction and team news ahead of kick-off, which will be at 19:00 GMT from Al Bayt Stadium.