World Cup: Chris Sutton’s quarter-final predictions, including England v France | Football


We will all have our ideas about who should start for England and what formation they should play, but Gareth Southgate has barely put a foot wrong so far in Qatar, and he will have a plan for this game too.

Southgate was getting panned before this World Cup started because of some poor recent results in the Uefa Nations League, but down the years he has done a great job and he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

Suddenly he has got England in a position where the expectation is there again, but now it gets really serious – England need to win three games to win the World Cup and they are facing some top-quality opposition, starting with France.

Southgate’s side will have plenty of defending to do on Saturday. If they do stop Kylian Mbappe, they have got Ousmane Dembele to deal with on the other flank – and Olivier Giroud up front as well.

But Mbappe, Dembele and Antoine Griezmann do not work hard when they are out of possession, so if England are brave they will get chances.

I definitely think England can win this tie. However, before the tournament, France were my pick to win it and I feel I have to go with the holders to go through on that basis, although it is going to be very close.

I also predicted England would only go as far as the quarter-finals. I really hope I am wrong.

England 1-2 France

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