England vs France LIVE: World Cup 2022 latest team news as Gareth Southgate gives Raheem Sterling update

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England’s World Cup history: From the highs of ‘66 to penalty heartbreak and Qatar 2022

England are continuing to build up to their huge World Cup quarter-final with France in Qatar, with Gareth Southgate’s team training on Friday amid a number of big selection calls.

England have been boosted by the return of Declan Rice to training following illness, while Raheem Sterling is rejoining the squad ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final against the defending champions France.

Southgate, however, has admitted Sterling’s absence is “not good preparation” after the forward missed key training sessions this week. When asked by ITV about Sterling’s availability, Southgate said: “We will have to assess that. He has missed a lot of training and had two long flights.”

Southgate will speak to the media at 4pm today and will be certain to be asked about how he is preparing his team to face France’s star forward Kylian Mbappe, who has scored five goals at the World Cup so far.

England’s build-up to the France quarter-final comes amid speculation over Ben White’s exit from the World Cup camp. Arsenal defender White left the England squad midway through the tournament, with the FA citing “personal reasons”, but the Daily Star are now reporting that it followed a row with assistant manager Steve Holland.

Follow all the latest World Cup news ahead of England vs France with our live blog, below:

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World Cup 2022: England vs France latest news and build-up

Key stats as England prepare for France in World Cup quarter-finals

England have enjoyed back-to-back three-goal wins at the World Cup 2022 but their defensive strength will be key if they are to win their quarter-final against France.

The only goals England have conceded in the tournament came in their opening group game against Iran, while leading 4-0 and 6-1 with the latter being a disputed late penalty.

They will face by far their toughest test to date against the reigning champions at Al Bayt Stadium, though, and here we look at what the statistics show us.

Jamie Braidwood9 December 2022 11:45

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World Cup 2022: England vs France latest news and build-up

Make sure you have this saved ahead of Saturday night…

When is England vs France?

The match is scheduled to kick off at 7pm GMT (10pm local time) on Saturday 10 December.

The fixture is set to take place at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

England vs France will air live on ITV 1 in the UK, and it will stream live on the broadcaster’s ITVX website and app.

Jamie Braidwood9 December 2022 11:30

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World Cup 2022: England vs France latest news and build-up

So, how do England stop Kylian Mbappe?

There is every chance that somebody else makes the difference at the Al Bayt. As several England squad members have been at pains to point out this week, the reigning world champions are hardly a one-man team. There is also the enduring quality of Antoine Griezmann, a rejuvenated Ousmane Dembele, not to mention France’s record goalscorer Olivier Giroud. Who knows, maybe even an England player could be the matchwinner.

But sometimes, the most important individual battle is also the most obvious one, writes Mark Critchley

Jamie Braidwood9 December 2022 11:15

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World Cup 2022: England vs France latest news and build-up

Gareth Southgate has admitted Raheem Sterling’s absence from the England squad is “not good preparation” ahead of Saturday’s crunch World Cup quarter-final with France but says he still supports the forward’s decision to return to the UK following a break-in at his home.

Sterling is back at England’s World Cup camp in Qatar and is set to return to training on Friday but Southgate has condeded the 28-year-old may not feature against the defending champions France after missing key training sessions this week.

When asked by ITV about Sterling’s availability for Saturday’s quarter-final, Southgate said: “We will have to assess that. He has missed a lot of training and had two long flights.

“That is not good preparation for a game of this standard but let’s see how he is.”

Jamie Braidwood9 December 2022 11:00

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World Cup 2022: England vs France latest news and build-up

Croatia prepared to go the distance again to disrupt Brazil’s World Cup rhythm

There is an argument that says Brazil against Croatia is the most imbalanced of the four quarter-finals, that says a World Cup giant should swat aside a small nation punching above its weight without fuss. It could be tempting to jump ahead at this point, to trace the lines and feel a jolt of anticipation at the possibility of Brazil colliding with Argentina in the semi-finals, should all go to form.

But the beauty of a World Cup is that each stage is its own distinct challenge, and for all Brazil’s momentum, Croatia are their first serious test. That is not to disparage those who’ve come before: Serbia and Switzerland made decent fists of their group-stage defeats, Cameroon beat a much-changed XI, before Brazil blitzed South Korea in the last-16. But now there are eight nations left, and Tite’s favourites finally face a battle-hardened team who know exactly what it takes to grind through the knockout rounds.

Jamie Braidwood9 December 2022 10:45

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World Cup 2022: England vs France latest news and build-up

Kieran Trippier has echoed team-mate Harry Maguire’s belief that there is a shift in the mentality and expectation of the England squad since they reached the World Cup semi-finals in Russia four years ago.

“If you go back to Russia, it was my first tournament and a lot of the players’ first tournaments as well,” he said. “Four years later, you can see the experienced individuals we have got. They’ve played in big finals or they’ve played abroad. You can see in the young players now a big shift.

“We got to a semi-final, the Nations League (semi-final) and then the final of the Euros. Of course we shouldn’t be ashamed to say we want to win the World Cup. But we need to take it one game at a time, respect our opposition – that’s a given – and we know we’ve got a tough task ahead of us. But we’ll be ready.”

Jamie Braidwood9 December 2022 10:30

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World Cup 2022: England vs France latest news and build-up

If Louis van Gaal is going to win the World Cup, he is going to do it his way

Louis van Gaal had already kissed Denzel Dumfries this week before he turned his attentions to a bemused, amused Memphis Depay. “He doesn’t want a kiss on the mouth, which is a shame, but also nice,” the Netherlands manager said. It was not a case of LVG raising the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar as much as an example of Van Gaal’s penchant for the unpredictable and capacity to steal the scene.

If Lionel Messi gets his wish, Argentina against the Netherlands might yet be the last game of an epic coaching career that started the year Diego Maradona won the World Cup – or maybe not, given the possibility he will come out of retirement again – and, if it is a farewell tour, Van Gaal’s eccentricities feel ever more pronounced.

Jamie Braidwood9 December 2022 10:15

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World Cup 2022: England vs France latest news and build-up

In the build up to Saturday’s huge game, the England squad let themselves be entertained by Robbie Williams at their Al Wakrah Beach hotel.

The former Take That singer performed in Doha on Thursday evening but 24 hours earlier had been serenading the World Cup hopefuls – although Phillips was keeping quiet on which of the players decided to join Williams in action.

“Robbie was here with us last night (Wednesday),” said Kalvin Phillips.

“He was just by the pool and sang us a few songs. It was a really good night. We had the chance to chat to him. He’s an unbelievably talented person but also a really nice person. “He got along with everyone. It was a pleasure to have him. Knowing how big he is in the world and how well he is doing, it’s an honour to have met him and spoken to him.

“There were a couple of duets but I’m not going to name names. They were very good duets to be fair. It was a good night in general. We said farewell to Tony (Conniford, FA head of security) , who is leaving us after nine years. That was quite emotional as well.”

(Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood9 December 2022 10:00

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World Cup 2022: England vs France latest news and build-up

Why Kylian Mbappe and France are better off without Karim Benzema

As England’s staff currently attempt to work out how to stop Kylian Mbappe, there is a very relevant question that’s confounded some around the French squad.

How do you lose the reigning Ballon d’Or winner and become better? How has that made the actual best player in the world become better?

This has been the consequence of Karim Benzema’s tragically unfortunate – but potentially serendipitous – injury. France look much more coherent and combative than at Euro 2020. Mbappe looks like he is now fully forging his own era, something made all the more conspicuous by the fact it is happening in Qatar and he plays for Qatar’s other major sportswashing project at Paris Saint-Germain.

It’s now down to England to stop it, writes Miguel Delaney.

Jamie Braidwood9 December 2022 09:45

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World Cup 2022: England vs France latest news and build-up

Kalvin Phillips believes England facing the reigning world champions France is a “massive game” and is ready to play his part – even if he does not end up featuring.

“Every player in this situation is going to want to be on the pitch and play,” he said.”If you’re not, you just do your best to support the boys and when you are involved, hopefully you can play well. I’m just looking forwards to the atmosphere and occasion, as well.

“I’m not playing as much, which can be frustrating but when you look at the players that are playing in front of me and how well they are playing, I can’t really argue.”

Phillips revealed that in a meeting before the finals, England had held a half-hour long meeting where they discussed the approach of France, as well as other international teams and club sides who have won trophies recently.

“It was a 25-30 minute meeting that we went through about our identity, how we wanted to play and how we wanted to progress in the tournament,” he said. “We have hit those marks and we are doing really well at the moment. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

(Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood9 December 2022 09:30

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