European powerhouses clash Saturday as England takes on France in quarterfinal action at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Three Lions extended their bid for their first World Cup title since 1966 with a decisive 3-0 victory over Senegal on Sunday and have now potted 12 goals through their first four matches. France also filled the net in Round of 16 action with a 3-1 victory over Poland that sent the defending world champions to the quarterfinals for the third time in as many tournament appearances.
England vs France Sportsbook Odds
Both squads opened with +205 odds. However, France has seized the momentum since, vaulting to +135 favorites, while England now lags as a +218 underdog. The odds of this contest ending as a draw after 90 minutes sit at +218, while the total has faded to 2.25 since Sportsbook at 2.5.
Saturday afternoon’s matchup marks just the third time that these national teams have met at the World Cup. England claimed victory in both of the previous group-stage contests, posting a 2-0 win on home turf in 1966 and a 3-1 win the last time they met in 1982. These squads have met in non-friendly competition just three times since that matchup, with France earning one win and the other two dates ending in draws, capped by a 1-1 draw at Euro 2012.
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Three Lions Benefit from Distributed Scoring
The Three Lions offense has gotten the job done during their first four matches at Qatar 2022. Eight players have found the back of the net, led by Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford, who have tallied three goals each.
That marks a turnaround for Rashford, who was held off the scoresheet in seven appearances for England at Euro 2020, while Arsenal fans will be pleased about Saka’s performance after he failed to score in seven appearances with the club prior to the tourney.
Expected to be a contender to lead the tournament in goal scoring, Harry Kane waited until last weekend’s victory over Senegal to pick up his first goal. However, the Three Lions captain has assumed the role of playmaker in Qatar, racking up a team-high three assists.
The status of Raheem Sterling for Saturday’s match remains uncertain after he returned to England on Sunday to be with his family, who were victims of a home invasion over the weekend. Sterling recorded a goal and an assist in group-stage action but was forced to miss the team’s win over Senegal due to the incident. Fortunately, no one was injured in the robbery, raising the possibility that Sterling could return to Qatar in time for Saturday’s contest.
Kylian Mbappe Rewriting the Record Books
The French allayed any concerns raised by their 1-0 loss to Tunisia in their group-stage finale with a dominating performance in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Poland. And once again, it was Kylian Mbappe leading the way with another standout performance. The Paris Saint-Germain striker got in on all three goals, scoring twice and setting up a third to seal the win.
Mbappe has established himself as one of the greatest World Cup players of all time with his performance in Qatar. The 23-year-old leads all shooters at this year’s tournament with five goals and now sits level with Lionel Messi and one up on Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Maradona with nine career goals at the tournament.
Mbappe’s production has been timely considering the injury woes this team faced going into the tournament. Les Bleus arrived in Qatar without striker Karim Benzema, midfielder N’Golo Kante and goalkeeper Mike Maignan. France has seen those woes deepen with injuries to defender Presnel Kimpembe and midfielder Christopher Nkunku, which will further test the depth of this squad as they prepare for their toughest test so far at Qatar 2022.
England vs France Game Prop: Both Teams to Score
With both these squads filling the net with regularity, sports bettors should expect plenty of offense in Saturday’s contest. These teams have combined to score 21 goals at the tournament, and 20 total goals over their past eight meetings across all competitions. That wide-open track record adds value to the -130 odds of both teams scoring on Saturday.
England: Keys to Win
The Three Lions have scored early and in bunches throughout this tournament, with five of their 12 goals coming in the final 10 minutes of first-half action. Seizing an early lead against a French squad struggling with injuries would once again allow England to set the pace. Of course, the priority for this club will be finding a way to contain Kylian Mbappe, who has averaged an astonishing 5.3 shots per game through his first four outings.
France: Keys to Win
While Kylian Mbappe has taken the lead in France’s bid to defend their World Cup title, an increase in distributed scoring would both take the pressure off the talented striker and boost this team’s chances of advancing to the semifinals. The club has also managed to shut out opponents before the half in three of their four outings and will need another stellar performance in the crease against a potent Three Lions attack.
World Cup Computer Pick: England +210
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