Blockbuster: France vs England

Agence France-Presse

DOHA, Qatar (AFP) – Defending champion France takes on England in a mouthwatering World Cup quarterfinal on Saturday that pits superstar Kylian Mbappe against a forward line-up packed with youthful zest.

The two European heavyweights, separated by just 20 miles (32 kilometers) of ocean, have surprisingly met just twice on the biggest stage, but not since 1982.

France, crowned world champion for the second time in Russia in 2018, eased past Poland in the Last 16, with two goals from Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe and one from Olivier Giroud.

England beat Senegal, 3-0, turning on the style for an ultimately comfortable win against the African champion after a shaky start.

Brazil, meanwhile, seeks to become the first team through to the semifinals Friday (late last night Manila time) while Argentina could set up a blockbuster all-South American clash if they get past the Netherlands.

After three weeks of pulsating action, just eight teams are left standing.

Five-time champion Brazil kicks off the quarterfinals against surprise 2018 runners-up Croatia while Argentina goes up against the Netherlands in Friday’s second quarterfinal at Lusail Stadium, the venue for the Dec. 18 final.

“I’ll be doing everything that I can to win with the Brazilian national team,” said Neymar.


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