England’s World Cup adventure in the middle east continues on Saturday (7pm; TV: Live on ITV), as they take on their neighbours France at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. Can Gareth Southgate’s men build on what has been an excellent start and make it to last four at back-to-back World Cups for the first time? Or will it be Les Bleus who make it through at the expense of the Three Lions?
This England vs France World Cup quarter-final match preview, with its betting tips, aims to find out.
Things are going well for Gareth Southgate, who continues to prove that he has the credentials to lead England at tournaments. His efforts have been much maligned at times, his brand of football often labelled boring, but he knows how to get a team to plot their way through a competition it seems. In fairness, the Three Lions have really started to roar at this World Cup, especially in the final third. So much so that they are now longest odds of 6/1 to win the 2022 World Cup trophy.
After scoring nine goals in the groups, despite drawing a blank on match-day two against the USA, the English continued to impress as they score three goals against Senegal last time out. They were both creative and clinical on that occasion, and they will need to be both of those things again if they are to beat the current world champions.
For France, the group stages did not really present many problems. They won each of their first two, securing qualification with a game in hand. Sure, their much-changed team lost by a goal to nil against Tunisia, but that is not really a result to pay any attention to.
During their Round-of-16 match against Poland, normal service was resumed, as the French burst into life, winning by three goals to one. We saw what they are made of on that occasion, even if they were not at their brilliant best. In Olivier Giroud, who is now France’s all-time top scorer, they have a deadly poacher. He can make the difference in tight games, while in Kylian Mbappe they have a global superstar, who so far has done as he has pleased in Qatar, scoring five in four.
What happens in this game?
This is a clash between two powerhouses. Both have an abundance of attacking talent. The French may be more heavily reliant on one player than the English, but they are no less threatening as a result.
In terms of how the game pans out, it is likely to be Les Bleus who dominate, but Southgate’s men probably will not mind that, as they’ve done lots of their best work on the break in Qatar. In Foden, Bellingham and Saka, England have lots of powerful ball carriers, who have shown themselves to be very effective when breaking down teams. In Harry Kane, they have someone who is just about as good as anyone at dropping to receive the ball before springing his team into action with a timely final pass.
Lots of big games tend to be quite tentative, with the opponents feeling each other out before taking any risks, and this may be like that for a while, but there will simply be too much offensive power on the pitch for things not to explode into life. This game really does have the potential to be a true end-to-end heavyweight clash.
Goals to arrive in Al Khor
This is a game for goals and attacking action, there is no two ways about it. Interestingly, when the teams last met, back in 2017, they shared five goals as France won by three goals to two. If the attacking efforts of both in recent weeks are anything to go by, then we could see something similar unfold here.
At odds of 11/10, ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ is hard to resist. Sure, England have been strong at the back, but have they really been tested yet? You would have to question whether they really have the defensive nous to deal with the threat of Kylian Mbappe, not to mention Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud. What is more, does the French back-line have what it takes to contain a ferocious and in-form England attack? Right now, you would have to say almost certainly not.
This is a clash between the two highest scoring teams in the tournament so far, a pair that has notched no less than 21 goals in Qatar so far. On that basis, it is worth betting that a relatively high-scoring game unfolds at Al Bayt Stadium.
More to come from Kane
It took England’s centre forward until his fourth game to find the net, but as he clinically drilled the ball past Senegal’s helpless Édouard Mendy, he looked anything but a player lacking in confidence.
With that goal under his belt, Kane looks a great bet to grab another in this game, especially at odds of 2/1. It is incredibly rare to get such odds on a goal-getter of Kane’s calibre, and yes, the class of opposition and the magnitude of the game has something to do with that, but such odds still look slightly generous.
We all know the quality that Kane has, and we shouldn’t let his goalless Group B campaign fool us. After all, in the Premier League this season, he is averaging a whopping 0.81 goals per 90 minutes, as well as a sizable 0.64 expected goals per game. England’s captain is likely to get chances and should the skill and guile of say Saka or Foden win England a spot kick, we know Kane will be the man to take it. All things considered, the player who is now just one goal away from tying Wayne Rooney as the nation’s top scorer of all time is worth supporting to get his name on the scoresheet.
So these are our betting tips, at best odds, for this England vs France World Cup 2022 quarter-final match preview:
- Over 2.5 goals in normal time (ie: 90 mins) @ 11/10 with Bet365.
- Harry Kane to score at any time in 90 minutes @ 2/1 with Bet365.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.