For England and coach Gareth Southgate, the real World Cup betting business starts now. Following a tense first 30 minutes against Senegal, England found another gear. The champions of Africa were eliminated with minimal trouble in the round of 16. Now comes the stage of the World Cup when the superpowers can’t avoid each other anymore. England’s reward for their 3-0 win is a Saturday quarterfinal match against France. Naturally, it is a showdown with Kylian Mbappe, who has already posted five goals in four games, but also with history.
2022 World Cup Betting
England vs. France
When: Saturday, December 10, 2022, 2 p.m. ET
CashBet Odds: England +100 vs. France -122, OU 2.5
At the onset, if England is to go any further, they will have to do something they have never done before. They must win an online sportsbook knockout game against a major nation away from Wembley Stadium. Going deep into tournaments isn’t new for Southgate. Following England reaching the World Cup odds semifinals in 2018 and the final of the European Championships in 2021.
But both times, the draw opened up, allowing England to reach the last four in Russia. In turn, England beat Sweden along the way. However, they eventually lost to Croatia. In comparison, the other side of the bracket included Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, and the eventual champion France and eventual winners France.
In like manner, the betting the World Cup story was familiar at the Euros. England ended up in a bracket alongside Sweden, Ukraine, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Wales, and Denmark. By contrast, that left Belgium, Portugal, France, Spain, and Italy to compete on the opposite ledger.
To show, Southgate’s team beat Germany at Wembley Stadium. And then England played Ukraine and Denmark for a place in the final. Finally, England lost to Italy on penalties. Of course, not Southgate’s fault that recent Betting on the World Cup draws have been kind. But there can be little doubt that playing holders France on foreign soil are a step up on both those campaigns.
In the days before the match, there will be questions about how you stop Mbappe. Indeed, Mbappe scored twice in a 3-1 win against Poland. England will likely catch France manager Didier Deschamps’ attention. Cause by Harry Maguire having a particularly uncomfortable start against Senegal and looked unnerved by early pressure and pace.
By contrast, it could have been a different story for Senegal had Boulave Dia not seen a good chance well saved by Jordan Pickford. That play came with the score still at 0-0. Following that moment, England scored twice in 10 minutes at the end of the first half. The game was over as a contest.
Naturally, France will not be so accommodating. And the match will come down to Southgate and his team selection. Consider that Southgate has used a back four since arriving in Qatar. But he will be tempted to switch to a back five against France. The idea is to protect Maguire and John Stones against Mbappe’s blistering pace. So that means that Kyle Walker could be playing as the third center-back. And then Kieran Trippler would return as the right wing-back.
Most experts and gamblers believe Southgate only likes playing with four defenders. Especially when he knows England is going to dominate the ball. But that is not a given against France. Correlate that France will also want to play on the front foot.
To conclude, Whatever Southgate decides, he can at least take heart that he has a strong record on game decisions. So far, he’s got his big selection calls right. He chose Henderson over Mason Mount and Saka over Marcus Rashford against Senegal. Accordingly, both ended up on the scoresheet.
Certainly, Mbappe is a world-class player. And he continues to provide big moments in this tournament. Most important of all, Mbappe was the key to the 2018 France World Cup title.
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