England VS France FIFA LIVE Football Score 10/12/2022
The pattern under Gareth Southgate has been that England play a back four when confident of dominating the ball and a back three when they expect possession to be more contested. In four games at this tournament, England have played 4-3-3. The question is whether against France they stick to the shape that has been effective or whether, mindful of the threat posed by, particularly, Kylian Mbappé, they opt for a back three. In September, Southgate spoke of how he had allowed himself in June to be lured away from his principles, leading to four winless Nations League games, which might suggest conservatism will reign and he will opt for the back three. But this week his assistant Steve Holland spoke of how deploying a “soldier” to combat Mbappé in effect removed a player from your own side, suggesting a back four.
There were a couple of moments in the first half against Senegal when it became apparent how vulnerable the centre of the England defence is to pace. With Ousmane Dembélé and Mbappé, France have extreme pace and that must be a concern for Southgate. Kyle Walker has played against Mbappé and PSG with Manchester City three times; on the two occasions John Stones was inside him, City won 2-0 and 2-1, although Mbappé did get that goal. The other was that slightly strange 2-0 City defeat in September 2021 when they controlled possession but ended up whacking crosses from deep at Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling.
City, of course, play in a very different way to England and can restrict an opponent’s influence by simply keeping the ball away from him, but Walker and Stones have shown they can cope with Mbappé. If England do take extra measures against him, the simplest way would probably be to bring in Kieran Trippier at right wing-back, with Walker moving to the right of three centre-backs, in Mbappé’s natural zone. He remains England’s quickest defender even if there are fears that after groin surgery he is not as fast as he was. But there are knock-on consequences elsewhere.
The great strength of England against Senegal was the midfield. With Declan Rice at its base, Jude Bellingham driving forward and Jordan Henderson buzzing around filling in the gaps, there was a real sense of balance for the first time since the Euros. If Trippier returns, who drops out? Assuming the new shape is 3-4-3, it would make sense for it to be Bellingham, but he is a versatile player who has been England’s creative hub. Does he then drop back alongside Rice with Henderson stepping down? That seems a huge risk given how important Henderson was in shoring things up against the USA and liberating Bellingham.
But if England switch to a 3-4-3, that gives the France midfield of Aurélien Tchouaméni, Antoine Griezmann and Adrien Rabiot a man advantage, which would seem to surrender the initiative entirely. It is possible that could be the plan, Walker occasionally stepping up but essentially allowing France to control position and seeking to strike on the break – which was, after all, how England got their three goals against Senegal.
It’s expected to be an epic battle on Saturday when England and France square off in a quarterfinal match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar. Both teams are group winners and cruised through their Round of 16 matches on Sunday, with England beating Senegal 3-0 and France topping Poland 3-1. France are the reigning champions, and England reached the semifinals in 2018, losing 2-1 to Croatia in extra time. France also won the 1998 world title and were runner-up in 2006. England won the 1966 World Cup and lost in the semifinals in 1990. The teams have met seven times in official competition, and France have a 3-2-2 edge but England have won both World Cup meetings.
Les Bleus have scored nine goals in four matches, and Kylian Mbappe has five of those to top Pele with the most World Cup goals before age 24. Having Karim Benzema out of the mix because of injury has allowed the Paris Saint-Germain man to break out. Mbappe has 19 goals and five assists in 20 total matches for PSG this season, leading Ligue 1 with 12 goals and 58 total shots in league play. Olivier Giroud also has gotten a chance in Benzema’s absence, and he has scored three goals to surpass Thierry Henry as France’s all-time top scorer with 52 goals.
Giroud scored twice against Australia in the opener, and Mbappe had two goals in Sunday’s victory. Antoine Griezmann has scored 42 goals for the national team, third all-time, and he has been a massive part of the team’s breakouts to find Mbappe in open space. The versatile forward also plays a big role in disrupting the opponent in the middle of the pitch. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is the veteran of the squad and will become the all-time leader with his 143rd cap Saturday.
The Three Lions went to a conservative approach in the 0-0 draw with the USMNT after a comprehensive 6-2 victory against Iran in the opener. And with points no longer a consideration, they should come out firing Saturday. They ended up with a tournament-high nine goals in the group stage. Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford have three goals apiece, and the likes of Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish also are elite attackers. Kane has one goal and three assists and was in excellent form in the Premier League, where he ranks second with 12 goals.
The emergence of Jude Bellingham into the star he was expected to be could be the difference for England. The 19-year-old has brought energy and urgency to the middle of the pitch. He has registered a goal and an assist and could help England win the midfield battle along with Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice and Mason Mount. England have three straight clean sheets, making Jordan Pickford the tournament leader. The 28-year-old has a 79.5 career save percentage for England and is tied for third in the EPL at 80.5 this season.
Lionel Messi cannot fail, he can only be failed. Well, maybe 2010 was his fault with the superstar struggling to hit his usual heights. In other tournaments, the supporting cast of the Argentina national team has found a way to let him down in big moments. But after coming together to win Messi’s first international tournament in the 2022 Copa America, could the team be developing enough grit to hold things together and support Messi to the promised land of a World Cup title? The Word Cup is the one thing missing from Messi’s illustrious trophy cabinet but after defeating the Netherlands in a penalty shootout on Friday in the quarterfinals, Argentina are now two wins from reaching the goal.
The team didn’t make things easy dropping a 2-0 advantage to the Netherlands, conceding twice in the final minutes, but Messi did everything that he could in the match. His pass to assist Nahuel Molina on the opening goal was one of the best passes that I’ve seen. Mortals would’ve passed the ball back to exploit space on the left side of the Dutch defense but Messi has no issues delivering a splitting ball through four defenders to break a deadlock.