Qatar 2022: England vs France specials

It is a game that needs no script: England versus France in the World Cup quarter-final.

Two neighbouring countries with a rich footballing history, the duo have met on 31 previous occasions, both former World Cup winners – one the holders, of course.

For many, this encounter could go a long way in determining who will lift the World Cup trophy in Lusail a week on Sunday and having progressed along their respective paths with few scares up until now, this is a true heavyweight clash of champion and pretender to world football’s throne in what will be only their third World Cup clash and a first in the tournament for 40 years.

Many will still remember their dramatic Euro 2004 encounter when Zinedine Zidane scored a brace in the 89th and 90th minute to pole-axe the Three Lions in an early-tournament encounter.

Pundits are predicting a potential thriller for the ages here and that may include further late drama with the potential of both sides off the bench. Therefore, for a goal be scored in the final 10 minutes, there will be some good in-play action to consider during the game.

The last time the duo met back in 2017, a 3-2 affair played out with Harry Kane grabbing a brace. With the attacking personnel on display here, a similar scoreline could be on the cards.

Kylian Mbappe may have given French fans a minor alarm after missing training on Monday, but the PSG man will have to be a marked man. Kane, having broken his tournament duck against Senegal will equally be a man in focus and together, the two talismen form a very nice and attainable-looking 7/1 scorer double with SkyBet.

The rather more eye-opening play to have appeared on the radar is a Super Boost with the same bookie from evens to 2/1 for both men to have just 1+ SOT in 90 mins.

Staying with Mbappe, new bookmaker Midnite will be looking to grab some traction in the markets with a 3/2 price for an Mbappe anytime goal.

For England, the star of the show in Qatar has been the precocious Jude Bellingham and already with a goal to his name before beating Senegal, added an assist last time out against the Lions of Teranga, together with his scintillating run to set tongues wagging across Planet Football. A 4/1 shot to net against Iran, the number 22 is a tantalising 8/1 boosted to score v France with William Hill.

So what about the goals count?

Our hunch is, we could see over 3.5 goals at 13/5 with PariMatch and BetVictor but we might instead play things a bit safer at over 2.5 goals for a still very decent 11/10 with Bet365.

The 2-2 scoreline is definitely on the radar though and a 33/2 punt with SBK could be very well rewarded. Alternatively, backing a draw at 30/13 with VBet holds some food for thought.

If extra time does occur, both games so far this tournament that have gone past 90 minutes have then gone the distance. Of course, this is England so that eventuality feels a more distinct possibility. Both England and France can be placed to win on spot-kicks at 9/1 with Bet365.

Get the sofa cushions on stand-by…

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