England-France quarter-final could produce World Cup winner, say fans

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England and France fans believe the winner of their quarter-final clash could go on to secure World Cup glory.

The Three Lions landed the first blow on Saturday as their supporters beat their French counterparts 7-4 in a match at a windswept Doha Sports Park.

Thousands of fans will later cheer on England in Al Khor and millions more back home will watch on TV, with pubs and bars readying themselves for another bumper evening.

The two giants of European football will meet at the Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday evening, with the winner facing Morocco or Portugal in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

England v France – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Quarter Final – Al Bayt Stadium
England fans in Souq Waqif before the quarter-final (Adam Davy/PA)

It predicts six million more pints could be sold during the quarter-final, providing a £26 million boost to the industry.

In Doha, the seven-a-side supporters’ game was feisty at times and offered a glimpse of the passion and desire expected when the real thing starts.

France took the lead three times in the 60-minute clash but were pegged back to 3-3 on the stroke of half-time and were overrun in the second half.

England supporters’ team boss Garford Beck said: “It’s a great way of bringing fans together and the game had a little bit of an edge to it.”

Mr Beck replied: “I wish you a safe journey to Paris on Monday.”

Mr Mundo said Kylian Mbappe is “most likely” to make the difference for France, telling the PA news agency: “Most likely we’ll have to concede a goal or two from you as you’ve been scoring many goals and we’ve been conceding, so my concern is how many goals you’ll score.

“But I give you one if you want, you be happy, and then we come back and we win.”

Claims and cost consultant Andrew Whittaker, 30, who lives in Doha by way of Liverpool, told PA: “I’m hoping it should be 1-0 England – as long as we keep Mbappe quiet we’ll be all right.

WORLDCUP Argentina
(PA Graphics)

“If we win tonight – which is probably the biggest challenge – it’ll probably be an England-Argentina final, and hopefully we’ll go that one step further this time and bring it home.”

Chef Mark Trigg, 48, from Derby, said he had the “typical match day nerves” but fancied England to win.

He told PA: “I think we can get a 2-1 tonight. It’ll be a bit tighter, we have scored a good few goals on the way through, I don’t see so many goals tonight.”

Mr Trigg added he will be wearing his lucky England suit which his mother helped make, explaining: “It’s a red hat, matching shirt, matching shorts, and it’s been getting noticed all over Qatar.”

Asked if he believes the winner of the tie will win the competition, Mr Trigg said: “Yeah, I’ve been saying that – I think there’s two good sides out there. Brazil are out which opens it a little more.”

England v France – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Quarter Final – Al Bayt Stadium
England fans were dressed to impress before the match (Adam Davy/PA)

But Mr Swann, who works in property and construction, told PA: “I don’t think they’re that much better than us, they must be scared of our front three as well.”

Brothers Josh and Matty Smith said they have enjoyed the “buzz” during their trip to Qatar and hoped England boss Gareth Southgate opts for a positive approach.

Welder Matty, 24, who lives in Peterborough, told PA: “Hopefully we can get a good win – only trouble is they’ve got Mbappe, I think Kyle Walker will do a good job on him, but they’ve also got (Antoine) Griezmann.

“If we worry too much about Mbappe, you miss half the other team and they’ve got some good players.”

Josh, 26, from Chester, who works in finance, told PA: “Hopefully he goes 4-3-3 and keeps it attacking, keeps the formation, doesn’t worry too much about defending.

“If we start worrying about defending that’s when we’ll see cracks.

(PA Graphics)

France fan Babacar Sall, from Massy, in France, said he expects a “tough game as England are a really great team” but insisted France also have a “great, great team” despite injuries.

He said the key to the game might be the midfield, adding: “In the end there is Mbappe, Griezmann, who can do the job any time, and there’s (Olivier) Giroud.”

On his prediction, he said: “It’s a tough one but I say 3-1 France.

“The winner of tonight might be the favourite to win the World Cup even if Argentina are on the other side against Croatia.”

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