England vs France, World Cup 2022 quarter-finals: date, times and how to watch
The oldest rivalry in the world sees the traditional contest of England vs France once again on the world stage, and it will be one for the ages
For nigh on a millennium, these two nations have been bitter rivals. From bloodshed to partnership, these days it is much more of a “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” type rivalry. But ask anyone on the streets of London or Paris and they will tell you that few things give them more joy than getting one over on the other side.
With both of their Round of 16 wins, the old antagonists meet once again on the world stage, this time, however, the chosen field will be in Qatar.
When does England vs France kick off?
England vs France will be played on Saturday, December 10, 2022, with kick-off scheduled for:
How to watch England vs France in the US
England vs France: the lay of the land
Eight different England players have scored for the Three Lions in Qatar, with Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford both banging three into the net. Harry Kane and young midfielder Jude Bellingham are as explosive as any players in the competition, and can provide the punch that England will need to take advantages of a French midfield depleted by injury.
After a week which saw Raheem Sterling fly back to the UK to deal with thieves breaking into his house, he is not expected to play which will blunt an otherwise superb England attack.
Leaning heavily on Kylian Mbappé, the French look unstoppable. Having said that, it is not enough to have a great striker, even if he is the best in the world at the moment, at this level. You need to have a team around him, feeding him good through balls and stiffening at the back.
Perhaps more than any other team in the competition, France has been decimated by injury, with Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, and N’Golo Kante completely out of the lineup, and Presnel Kimpembe and Christopher Nkunku both sustained injuries in Qatar that will see them out of the game.
England vs France: our prediction
If both of these teams were playing at top form, then this would be an easy blowout for France. With the injury woes that Les Bleus are suffering, however, England is clearly the stronger team in midfield today. That in itself will be enough to keep the game close, perhaps even close enough to move to penalties, although that prospect would strike fear into any England fan since they have the world’s worst penalty shootout record, winning only 12% of the time.
Typically low-scoring winners, England are not known for the goals-in-bunches type of aggression that they would need to take the French out of the competition, but the longer the match goes on, the better the English will like their chances. France may open the scoring early, but it will soon settle into a war of attrition.
Prediction: England 1-2 France on a very late winner.
Who is the referee for the England vs France quarter-final clash?
Brazilian VAR specialist Wilton Sampaio will let his cleats touch the grass for a change, when he takes charge of proceedings in the England vs France quarterfinal match in Doha.
The 40-year-old is well known in Brazil for handing out yellow cards at the most minor infraction, so this could be an unforeseen element swaying the outcome of this match, particularly with England accustomed to a far more physical style of play than their continental counterparts.
Sampaio averages five yellow cards per game in the Brasileirão Série A, and has distributed 105 bookings and four red cards in only 21 games officiated.