Biggest test we could face: Gareth Southgate ahead of England vs France FIFA World Cup quarters

England vs France, FIFA World Cup quarters: Gareth Southgate said that the last-eight match against the defending champions France will be the “biggest test” for England.

By India Today Web Desk: England coach Gareth Southgate said that the FIFA World Cup 2022 quarter-final match against the defending champions France will be the “biggest test” for his side.

England stormed into the last-eight stage after dispatching Senegal 3-0. The intimidating quarter-final between England and France will be the first World Cup match between the two sides since 1982.

“We have a brilliant tie, haven’t we?” Southgate said after the win over Senegal.

“It is the biggest test that we could face. They (France) are world champions. Incredible depth of talent, outstanding individual players,” he added while highlighting the other last eight match-up between Argentina and Netherlands.

“The two quarter-finals that are already in place are fantastic historic football rivalries with great games from the past. So it is a brilliant game for us to be involved in and test ourselves against the very best.”

During their last clash at the World Cup 40 years ago, England defeated France 3-1 with Bryan Robson scoring a brace. England, who wasted no time in shifting their focus to the French challenge, have to come up with a brilliant plan as their central defenders Harry Maguire and John Stones would need to stop Kylian Mbappe, the leading goal scorer (five) at the World Cup 2022.

“He is of course a world class player, he has already delivered big moments in this tournament and in previous tournaments,” Southgate said while also noting the talented France strikers Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud.

“Everywhere you look, they have incredible depth of talent. It is a huge test but one we are really looking forward to.”

France defeated Poland 3-1 in the Round of 16 to reach the quarter-finals. England and France will clash in the last-eight match on Saturday (12:30 AM IST, Sunday December 11).


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