When do England play next? World Cup 2022 quarter-final date and what you need to know about opponents France
England are heading for the World Cup 2022 quarter-finals with Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka firing them to victory over Senegal.
Gareth Southgate’s men are unbeaten in Qatar so far having topped Group B with wins over Iran and Wales and a draw with the USA.
Their strong form continued with a convincing win over African champions Senegal and puts them firmly among the favourites to lift the trophy at the World Cup final on 18 December.
But before they can dream of glory they will have to overcome three formidable opponents… starting with the world champions.
Who do England play in the quarter-finals?
England will take on France in the World Cup 2022 quarter-final after the reigning world champions beat Poland 3-1 in their own last-16 clash.
Olivier Giroud broke Thierry Henry’s record as France’s top scoring men’s player, while Kylian Mbappe put himself at the front of the Golden Boot race with two of his own goals.
When is England vs France?
England vs France in the World Cup 2022 quarter-final kicks off at 7pm (GMT) on Saturday 10 December at Al Bayt Stadium.
What channel is England vs France on?
The entire 2022 World Cup is being broadcast on free-to-air television in the UK, with the BBC and ITV sharing the rights.
All matches are therefore also available to live stream for free on BBC iPlayer or the new ITVX streaming platform.
England vs France is expected to be shown on ITV, with the broadcaster having first choice over which quarter-final matches to show. The BBC will have first choice for the semi-finals.
Analysis: The old and young strikers firing France to glory
By Pete Hall
One is the latest of bloomers, while his trusted sidekick was blessed with God-given footballing ability as soon as he came out of the womb. Together, they are the deadliest, and most unlikely of strike partnerships.
Things just happen for Olivier Giroud as he has enjoyed a remarkable Indian summer in his footballing career. He did not make his international debut until he was 25 and was labelled a “lamppost” by Arsenal fans in 2015 who felt he offered their team nothing. Now he is the all-time top goalscorer for France, no slouch on the world stage.
Kylian Mbappe’s ascension to the top of the world game has been a very different story. The Paris Saint-Germain phenomenon has 63 caps before turning 24 – at this stage Giroud was playing in the French second tier, a world away from the trophy haul he has amassed since. The commonality between post-25 Giroud and embryonic Mbappe is goals. And lots of them.
One for Giroud, in what will likely his last tournament and two stunning strikes for Mbappe, who is very much only just getting started, helped France march on to the quarter-finals in ultra-comfort against Poland.
According to France Football, neither are even seen as France’s best striker. Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema’s injury, which many expected to hinder Les Bleus’ hopes of becoming the first country since Brazil in 1962 to retain the World Cup, looks like it could be a blessing in disguise.
Read Pete’s full analysis from France’s last-16 over Poland here
i‘s guide to France at Qatar 2022
By Daniel Storey, i chief football writer
How they qualified
Qualification from a five-team group containing Finland and Kazakhstan was always going to be a cakewalk. France did unexpectedly draw three games against Ukraine (twice) and Bosnia (at home), but none of those damaged their chances of making Qatar in any way. The only real shock is that a squad blessed with lots of attacking talent managed to only score 18 goals in their eight qualifiers, eight of which came in the home game against Kazakhstan. Ten goals in the other seven matches, given the quality of the opponents, is a pretty miserable record.
Two years ago, it was accepted that France had the deepest pool of players in world football. If we ignore injury issues for a second, the sheer number of high-level central defenders, for example, is a joke: Raphael Varane, Wesley Fofana, William Saliba, Ibrahima Konate, Presnel Kimpembe, Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez, Clement Lenglet, Kurt Zouma. Didier Deschamps could pick an outfield team made up of centre-backs who would probably make any other squad in this tournament. Fofana, Kimpembe, Lenglet and Zouma missed out.
In the final third, France probably have the perfect blend of forwards. Karim Benzema is back and had the season of his life in 2021-22, Ousmane Dembele is rejuvenated at Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe is Kylian Mbappe. If those are the three starters, that leaves Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kingsley Coman and Randal Kolo Muani on the bench – each provide something different. How can this squad fail?
Central midfield would have been as stacked as every other part of the team but for injuries to Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante; if there were doubts about their club form, both would have started in Qatar. Their absence does create uncertainty. Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni have been hailed as the future of France and Real Madrid’s midfield; the latter has become a starter out of necessity alongside unlikely star Adrien Rabiot.
More generally, France are suffering from the same fears as England. What appeared to be a brilliant squad 18 months ago has lost a little of its shine due to recent sticky performances, occasional poor results, Nations League setbacks and the accusation that a risk-averse manager is holding them back. For Deschamps, that is far less forgivable given the strength in depth and attacking options. Anything less than an appearance in the final should be regarded as significant underachievement.
Mbappe’s reputation off the pitch is open to interpretation after leaks over his stratospheric wage, his reported demand for influence at Paris Saint-Germain and links with a move to Real Madrid. His reputation among French supporters and team-mates is also complicated after the reaction to his penalty shootout miss at Euro 2020.
But you cannot doubt the weight of Mbappe’s talent and his potential to run ragged over this half of the World Cup draw. If he fires – and he probably will – France can get to the final without playing either of the two pre-tournament, South American favourites.
The great question of French football is whether the country’s success in winning the 2018 World Cup was achieved because of Deschamps’ coaching and man management or in spite of it. His critics would point to diminishing goalscoring returns and an outrageous pool of players, plus the misery of Euro 2020 when France drew with Hungary and Portugal and then lost on penalties to Switzerland. Deschamps hung on despite the noise but is now in a position where he probably needs to become the second manager in history to win two World Cups just to keep his job.
Who could England play in the semi-finals?
With plenty of games still to play, any potential semi-final opponent for England is hard to predict but Spain and Portugal look the most likely.
Having won Group H, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal side would present the sternest challenge of these three sides, although they first need to make it past Switzerland in the last 16.
Spain enjoyed mixed form in the group stage, thrashing Costa Rica before drawing with Germany and then losing to Japan. Having finished runners up in their group, they take on surprise package Morocco in the first knockout round but are favourites to progress for a meeting with their Iberian rivals in the last eight. With prodigious youngsters like Gavi and Pedri in midfield, alongside Manchester City stars Aymeric Laporte and Rodri, they certainly have the talent to go all the way in Qatar.
England would view all of these sides as beatable on their day, but also more than capable of defeating them.
And what about the final?
If England make it past potential knockout clashes with France and Portugal, then it is unlikely to get any easier in the final.
The biggest national teams on the “other side” of the World Cup knockout draw are Brazil, Argentina, Croatia and the Netherlands. Brazil have not quite hit their stride so far in Qatar, but with an incredibly deep and star-studded squad, the tournament favourites will be the one side no-one wants to face.
Despite their shock loss to Saudi Arabia in their opening game, the same can be said of Argentina and Lionel Messi. The reigning Copa America champions, Lionel Scaloni’s side have talent across the pitch, particularly going forward.
Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands side have not been discussed among the tournament favourites, but have an impressive blend of ageing stars and young talent which could spring surprises throughout the knockout phase.
Of course, Croatia beat England in the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup, so fans and players alike would be well aware of the challenges Zlatko Dalic’s men can pose.