Both sides have enjoyed excellent tournaments so far.
The Three Lions have scored 12 goals in four matches at the World Cup, whilst France have looked a serious attacking threat in all of their matches so far.
On paper, France do have more quality across the pitch than the Three Lions, but England still have a number of options who could improve Les Bleus.
With this in mind, 101GreatGoals have put together a combined XI of England and France ahead of their quarter-final showdown.
* We are only using players who are currently fit, so no Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, etc.
England & France XI
- GK: Hugo Lloris
Jordan Pickford is once again looking solid for England and made a big save in the first half of England’s last-16 win over Senegal. But in terms of reliability and experience, Hugo Lloris just about takes it.
- RB: Kieran Trippier
France do not really have much in the way of natural right-backs at the 2022 World Cup, with Jules Kounde starting in that role this winter. So, it makes sense to select one of England’s natural right-backs. And as Walker has looked off his game of late, likely due to him only just returning from injury, Kieran Trippier makes sense.
- CB: Raphael Varane
Varane missed France’s opening WC game due to injury but he has since improved in each match he has played for Les Bleus. The stopper shone vs Poland and his experience/ winning mentality is a great addition to any side.
- CB: Harry Maguire
Maguire continues to get a lot of criticism at club level, which has been justified to a certain extent. But for England he continues to look like a completely different man. Maguire has been solid at the back and is always looking to take the ball forward and start attacks.
Even when England were struggling to open up Senegal on Sunday and Maguire was criticised for giving the ball away, at least he was trying to create something. And the only reason he gave the ball away was because his options further forward were lacking.
- LB: Luke Shaw
Theo Hernandez has started two games for France this winter and has been good. However, Luke Shaw’s attacking threat and pressing has been much better for England at the World Cup.
- CDM: Declan Rice
With Kante and Pogba injured, France’s midfield has been weakened for this tournament, especially in terms of their defensive capability. Rice, meanwhile, continues to be a rock at the back for England, breaking up play well and tracking his runners.
- CDM: Aurelien Tchouameni
Tchouameni has been largely solid for France this winter, with his tackles and interceptions among the highest at the WC. And as England’s other starting midfielder is Jordan Henderson, it seems obvious that Tchouameni should beat the ageing Liverpool man to the XI.
- CM: Jude Bellingham
Even if France had Kante and Pogba at the World Cup, Jude Bellingham would still make this team. The teenager’s pressing has been sublime for England, whilst he also provides an attacking threat with runs into the box from deep. He has scored one and provided one assist in four.
- RW: Phil Foden
For whatever reason, Gareth Southgate opted not to start Foden in England’s first two games of the WC. However, he has since been in from the off vs Wales and Senegal, against whom he scored one and provided two assists.
Foden’s ability to move the ball quickly and run at players is also excellent and creates England a lot of chances.
- ST: Harry Kane
There has been much talk around Olivier Giroud this winter after he became France’s all-time top goalscorer. And whilst Giroud has looked sharp, there is simply no denying that Kane is one of the best forwards in the world and his ability to link play as well as finish is invaluable.
- LW: Kylian Mbappe
There is not too much that needs to be said about Mbappe. He has five goals and two assists in four games this winter and is one of the best, maybe even the best player, in the world right now.