England manager Gareth Southgate is set to name an unchanged line-up for their World Cup quarter-final meeting with France. Gareth Southgate is planning to stick with the personnel and configuration that have served England so well up until now, putting an end to any speculation about whether he would switch to a back three as he frequently did against more formidable opposition. In the knockout rounds of their journey to the Euro 2020 final last summer, Southgate used a 3-4-3 system against Germany and Italy; however, in his matchup with the World Cup champions, he has chosen to stick rather than twist.
Declan Rice’s health had been questioned prior to the match on Saturday, but after working out on Thursday and Friday, he will continue to play with Jordan Henderson and Jude Bellingham. Raheem Sterling, who left the camp to head home before England’s last-16 match against Senegal last weekend, will be a part of the squad after arriving in Qatar on Thursday. If he plays, he will come off the bench though. Additionally, it means that Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka, who together were responsible for all three of England’s goals against Senegal, will continue to play either side of Harry Kane, who is currently one goal shy of Wayne Rooney’s record.
“He wants to keep Bellingham and the other three midfielders. It’s really encouraging that he will face France, who we anticipate will also play 4-3-3,” Rob Dorsett said. “With Bellingham, Henderson, and Rice, England feels they have an advantage over France in the middle of the field, which is where this game could be decided. France doesn’t seem to be as powerful in the back as it once was, according to them.”
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