Football NewsFrench media is Optimistic about Playing England in the World Cup.
Post image

French media outlets are optimistic about their team’s chances against England in the World Cup quarterfinals, where Les Bleus will be attempting to defend their title.

The Three Lions defeated the African champions Senegal, but Les Blues breezed past Poland on Sunday. The world champions are defending their title in Qatar, and on Saturday they will face their longtime rivals for the first time in a major tournament in over a decade.

France won the World Cup in Russia 4.5 years ago, but England will be their toughest opponent in this tournament. The French are feeling confident and ready to take on the world, as evidenced by the front page of a newspaper on the other side of the Channel that read: “Ready to eat the lion.”

After their 1-1 opening game at Euro 2012, England and France have only played each other twice. In 2015, England defeated France 2-0 at Wembley Stadium, but two years later, they lost 1-0 in Paris. The French publication L’Equipe has already begun making predictions, and one of them is that Harry Maguire will be a weak link, leading Gareth Southgate to switch back to a back three.

As the article put it, “Harry Maguire’s slowness could prove detrimental to the England rear guard,” which Gareth Southgate could strengthen by switching from a 4-3-3 to a 3-4-3 formation whenever he is up against the best selections.

The next part of L’Equipe reads: “To solve this puzzle, it will be up to Mbappe and Kyle Walker, who has just returned from a long groin injury that kept him off the field for almost two months. While the Three Lions have historically struggled against ball-playing midfielders like Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann, [Jude] Bellingham’s dominance in both the defensive and offensive thirds of the field has given England a fighting chance.”

Southgate said of the enticing quarterfinal matchup: “It’s as thrilling as it gets. The French pose the greatest potential challenge. They’ve won the world championship, have an incredible roster, and make it tough to score goals. Incredibly exciting difficulty.”

Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka has praised England’s talent rather than focusing on England’s opponents. This is what he had to say: “There is significant competition between these two countries at this World Cup. We’ve been watching them, and we can attest to the fact that they’re good. You can expect a thrilling match. We are well aware of their abilities, but we are also aware of our own. It’s up to us to perform at our highest level.”

The forward for Arsenal also said “Obviously, there are a lot of players on this [England] squad who have experience competing in major tournaments. Over the past few tournaments, we’ve performed quite admirably. Lots of our guys can step up and do their jobs when the big games come around.”