After England defeated Senegal 3-0 to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals, Gareth Southgate claimed that his team is excited to face the tournament’s defending champions France.
The England manager also insisted that Les Bleus pose more of a threat than just Kylian Mbappe if they are to succeed against them when they face on Saturday, 10th December.
Ahead of the meeting at the Al Bayt Stadium, Southgate said in response to being asked about the threat they face against an in-form Mbappe in the World Cup:
“He’s (Mbappe) a world-class player and has already delivered big moments in this tournament and in previous tournaments,” Southgate said. “I think Antoine Griezmann now has over 70 consecutive games for France and I think he’s also a phenomenal player”.
“We know Olivier Giroud so well and they also have outstanding young midfield players. Everywhere you look, when we’re studying France at every age group, they have incredible depth of talent at every position.”
Asked about the challenge of taking on the World Cup holders, Southgate added:
“They’re world champions with an incredible depth of talent and outstanding individual players. They’re very difficult to play against and score goals against, so it’s a fantastic challenge and a brilliant game to prepare for”.
“It’s a great game to be involved with and to test ourselves against the very best.”
Southgate’s side have only beaten France once in seven meetings since the turn of the century, while the manager lost his only encounter with Les Bleus in a 3-2 defeat in 2017.