Both of these teams have had phenomenal tournaments so far. England have developed great resilience while France seem to have found a way to work around their midfield absentees.
England and France meet on Saturday for the first time since 2017 in the Al Bayt Stadium. This combined 11 is based solely on the players’ performances during the FIFA World Cup 2022.
GK: Jordan Pickford
Image Credit: REUTERS/Justin Tallis
This is one of the few difficult picks in this combined eleven. However, Pickford gets the edge due to his three clean sheets in the tournament so far. Both keepers have been great, but one can’t ignore the fact that Lloris hasn’t kept a clean sheet throughout the tournament.
RB: Jules Kounde
Trippier hasn’t been great and Walker still looks like he isn’t 100% sharp so Kounde’s spot at right back is pretty much secured.
He has played out of position and has done relatively well offensively and defensively.
CB: Dayot Upamecano
The Bayern defender has been a man-mountain for France. He has become one of the first names on the team sheet due to his immense performances. His on the ball ability is superb and he’s proven to be important for France’s patient build up.
CB: Harry Maguire
The 29 year old always seems to transform anytime he puts on an England shirt. His performances drastically improve and his leadership is seen throughout matches.
His center-back partner, John Stones, is unlucky not to get into this team, but Maguire undeniably deserves it.
LB: Theo Hernandez
Theo Hernandez has been immense since his inclusion after his brother’s unfortunate injury against Australia. His constant overlapping runs have helped to unlock low-blocks while his defensive contributions can’t be denied.
CDM: Aurelien Tchouameni
He’s seamlessly fit into this France set up and has made that position his. Many people questioned his maturity and ability to replace Pogba and Kante and he’s proved them wrong.
CM: Jude Bellingham
Image Credit: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
One of the best prospects in world football is one of the best players of this tournament so far. He’s matched his impressive engine and technical ability with great decision making and runs into the final third.
As the tournament goes on, his price tag is going up and more clubs are eager to secure his signature come the summer.
CM: Antoine Griezmann
This new role seems to have rejuvenated Griezmann’s form. He’s crucial in dictating France’s tempo, initiating their press and counter press. Everything runs through Griezmann and he’ll be another key player on Saturday.
LW: Kylian Mbappe
Image Credit: REUTERS/Issei Kato
Only one player was going to be picked for this position. The top scorer of World Cup 2022 and the best player in world football at the moment; Kylian Mbappe.
His battle against Kyle Walker on Saturday will be very interesting.
ST: Harry Kane
This was probably the most difficult decision of this draft. Giroud has three goals and has become France’s all time top scorer while Kane only scored his first goal against Senegal in the Round of 16.
I’ve gone with Kane as his overall performances have been more influential than Giroud’s though the Frenchman has more goals.
RW: Bukayo Saka
Dembele is and has been amazing, however, no one can deny Saka’s performances in these matches. Twenty one years of age and he’s stepped up on the world stage.
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