England predicted XI vs France: starting lineup and team formation for World Cup 2022 quarter final match

Gareth Southgate’s England are aiming to reach the semi-final of Qatar 2022 for a second consecutive World Cup

Gareth Southgate opted for just one change to the team that beat Wales in the final group game, with Bukayo Saka coming in for Marcus Rashford in attack. The 52-year-old also stuck with the 4-3-3 system that got his side through the group.

England cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory in the round of 16 game and dominated the majority of the match after a shaky opening half hour. Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane got their first goals of the World Cup, whilst Bukayo Saka went level with Marcus Rashford with his third goal of the tournament.

Southgate and his team will now turn their attention to the quarter-finals and the Three Lions will face their most difficult test of the tournament so far when they come head to head with two time World Cup winners France.

Didier Deschamps’ team possess one of the most talented squads in the world and they showed that with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Poland in the round of 16. France are the reigning World champions after their triumph four years ago and are spearheaded by one of the most exciting strike forces in world football with the likes of Oliver Giroud, Antoine Grizemann and tournament top scorer Kylian Mbappe all likely to lead the line against England.

The Three Lions have an extremely talented team filled with immense squad depth in all areas of the field but can we expect Southgate to make any more changes for the next game?

Do England have any injuries heading into the game against France?

Declan Rice reportedly missed training on Wednesday due to an unspecified illness. The 23-year-old has featured in every game of the tournament and has been key to the England team so far.

The majority of England’s team attended training after the game against Senegal and the only other player to miss training was Callum Wilson with a minor knock. Wilson has made two substitute appearances for England during the World Cup.

Raheem Sterling was not involved in the game against Senegal due to family reasons but will return to the England squad in time for the game against France.

Ben White was also withdrawn from the England team due to personal reasons.

Raheem Sterling is a doubt for the game against France. (Getty Images)

Who should start for England against France?

England manager Gareth Southgate has regularly used the 4-3-3 formation throughout the course of the tournament in Qatar and so far the tactics have worked to great effect.

The Three Lions are the top goalscorers in the World Cup with an impressive 12 goals from four games and are just one goal away from beating the all time record for goals in the tournament. England have looked exciting going forward and have a variety of different players who can chip in with goals throughout the team. So far England have had eight different goalscorers at the World Cup while Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford are just two goals behind Kylian Mbappe in the race for the golden boot.

In past tournaments the 52-year-old has opted to use a 5-2-3 formation, particularly during the knockout stages of tournaments and some fans have called for that formation to return with Kyle Walker playing centre back to counteract the pace and goalscoring talents of Kylian Mbappe.

Other pundits have claimed that England should stick to their guns and continue with the 4-3-3 formation that has served them well across the tournament. England possess an array of exceptional attacking options and are capable of causing problems to the French backline.

Here is the predicted England lineup featuring the 4-3-3 formation

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford

Jordan Pickford has played every minute of every game for the Three Lions in Qatar and has enjoyed a strong start to the tournament.

Pickford has been a first team regular for the Three Lions in both the World Cup in 2018 and Euro 2020 and has been an integral part in helping England go deep into both tournaments. The Everton shot stopper made a number of key saves in the early exchanges against Senegal and the game could have easily been a different story if it wasn’t for his early heroics.

Right back: Kyle Walker

One of the most difficult selections for the Three Lions will be choosing the right back position. Southgate has a variety of exciting options in that position with Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander Arnold all vying for a starting spot.

Trippier was the first choice at the start of the tournament and is an excellent player going forward, who also offers a great threat from set pieces, however France possess one of the fastest frontlines in the tournament and Walker is the most equipped to deal with the pace of players like Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele.

Centre back: Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire has been an ever present at the back for England over the duration of the tournament in Qatar and looks like a completely different player in terms of confidence to the one we have seen for Manchester United over the last six months.

Maguire has looked assured in possession, solid in terms of his positional sense and has been a threat going forward from corners. The Sheffield-born defender has so far helped his side to three consecutive clean sheets. However, he will face his most challenging test yet against Kylian Mbappe and will need to be at his absolute best.

Centre back: John Stones

Joining Maguire at the back is fellow Yorkshire born defender John Stones. The Manchester City defender has started all of England’s opening four games and has been a calming presence at the back.

He will be expected to start alongside Maguire ahead of the likes of Conor Coady and Eric Dier.

Left back: Luke Shaw

Another player who gradually sneaks in ahead of the multi-faceted Kieran Trippier. Luke Shaw has played in all four of England’s games and has been a constant threat going forward throughout the duration of the tournament.

Centre midfield: Jude Bellingham

Jude Bellingham was tipped to be the breakout star of the tournament in Qatar and he has certainly lived up to expectations in the opening four games.

The Borussia Dortmund star was one of the best players on the pitch during the round of 16 tie against Senegal and his composure on the pitch is incredible for such a young player. After the game Phil Foden described Bellingham as a player with no weaknesses and said that he will become one of the best midfielders in the world.

Bellingham will be expected to keep his place in the team against France and it will be interesting to see how he copes against Europe’s elite.

Centre midfield: Declan Rice

Declan Rice has been one of the first names on the team sheet for Gareth Southgate for the last three years and he has also featured in all four of England’s opening four games.

Rice plays a key role in the holding midfield role for England and he will be crucial to breaking down any attacks from the French midfield.

Centre midfield: Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson may not be viewed as the most exciting and glamorous player in the England set up but his performance for the Three Lions against Senegal shows that he is still an important one.

The decision to bring on Henderson during the 0-0 draw against USA raised a few eyebrows and some sections of the fanbase have argued for more exciting attacking options such as James Maddison, Mason Mount or even switching Phil Foden into a more central role.

However, Henderson enjoyed an excellent game against Senegal and scored England’s all important opener in the first half. His leadership in the midfield was vital and it is expected that he will have done enough to earn himself a place against France.

James Maddison would offer a great wildcard from the bench for the Three Lions if things aren’t going to plan. Maddison is a hugely talented midfielder and offers a huge goal threat off the bench.

Right winger: Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka returned to the starting lineup against Senegal and edged off competition from inform attacker Marcus Rashford.

Saka returned to his best form against Senegal and was a constant threat going forward throughout the game. The Arsenal star has scored an impressive three goals over the duration of the tournament and will be hoping to cause problems for the French backline.

Striker: Harry Kane

Harry Kane was the top scorer for England in the World Cup in 2018 but has taken his time to get off the mark at Qatar.

The 29-year-old striker got his first goal of the tournament against Senegal and played a key part in bringing other attacking players into the game by pulling away defenders and creating space for the midfielders as demonstrated by Henderson’s opening goal.

Kane is just one behind Wayne Rooney’s all-time record goal tally of 53 goals and has the perfect stage against France to try and write his name into the history books.

Left winger: Phil Foden

Phil Foden continued to play on the wing for England against Senegal and enjoyed his best game of the tournament so far by providing an impressive two assists.

Foden has been described by pundits as a generational talent and after a quiet tournament in Euro 2020 he seems to now be finding his best form in an England shirt.

Foden is crucial to the way England play and is expected to start, however he is likely to face fresh competition from the returning Chelsea star Raheem Sterling. Sterling played on the left in both of the opening two games against Iran and USA - he has registered one goal and one assist in the tournament so far.