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England vs France: What are the key battles to look out for in the quarter-final match?

Kylian Mbappe has been in red hot form so far this competition. The French forward has scored five goals already and is in prime position to bag the golden boot.

Kylian Mbappe in a file photo (Credit: [email protected])
By Nilavro Ghosh | Dec 9, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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Senegal, who did not give the Three Lions a moment to breathe with their effective pressing, appeared to have an England team that was most likely to concede in the early going. However, the tide soon turned when 19-year-old Jude Bellingham took the game by the scruff of the neck. Before contributing significantly to Harry Kane’s 52nd England goal just before halftime, Bellingham set up Jordan Henderson for the game’s opening goal in the 38th minute. Gareth Southgate’s decision to reintroduce Arsenal player Bukayo Saka to the team was also vindicated when the player made it three for England after 57 minutes.

Olivier Giroud’s 52nd goal was enough for France as Les Bleus showed a clinical edge that Robert Lewandowski’s Poland had no answer for, while Harry Kane scored his 52nd international goal to move closer to the England record. Giroud scored the game’s first goal, moving the 36-year-old ahead of Thierry Henry at the top of the men’s goal scoring list. Giroud then scored two more thunderous goals to end the match before a retaken Lewandowski penalty gave Poland a late consolation. Here are some of the key battles from the match to look out for.

Kylian Mbappe vs Kyle Walker

Kylian Mbappe has been in red hot form so far this competition. The French forward has scored five goals already and is in prime position to bag the golden boot at the end of it all. Big matches are where Mbappe comes to life and he will be looking to make a serious impact against the Three Lions. However, he will have to get past a certain Kyle Walker who has been in fine form this tournament. It will be interesting to see how they match up against one another.

Olivier Giroud vs John Stones

The two have faced off previously in the past in the English Premier League with Giroud playing for Arsenal and Chelsea and Stones for Manchester City. The veteran striker seems to have found his rhythm in the world cup but Stones has been absolutely exceptional in the back for the Three Lions. The tussle promises to be an enticing one as both players will give it their all to reach the semi-final stage of the competition.

Harry Kane vs Raphael Varane

Although Harry Kane is yet to be at his goal scoring best at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, he is a constant threat in attacking moves. He is a constant presence in or near the opposition box playing key passes if he is not scoring goals. Kane will be a menace to the French defenders and a lot of the responsibility of stopping him will fall on Raphael Varane’s shoulders. Varane is one of the best defenders in the world and can be heavily relied upon if one needs a solid defensive performance.



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