England fans growing confident of a 'Le Crunch' World Cup win against France

Is this England's biggest game since the Three Lions won the 1966 World Cup final? ITV News' Steve Scott and Chloe Keedy preview England's quarter-final against France

Raheem Sterling returns to Qatar today and no doubt thousands of fans will be leaving the UK alongside him, tempted by the mouth-watering prospect of free scoring England taking on the in-form World Cup holders France on Saturday.

At stake is a place in the last four to face either Portugal or Morocco; the latter carrying with them the hopes of the Middle East and Africa too.

There is a growing confidence among England fans that if Gareth Southgate’s team can come through "Le Crunch" then anything is possible, even if Brazil or Argentina are lurking in the other half of the draw.

As Harry Kane told ITV News this week, England are traditionally not good at beating teams ranked above them in major tournaments, but given the three clean sheets so far and goals flying in from so many different players, now feels a bit different.

You’re probably already fed up hearing the name Kylian Mbappe, but there’s a very good reason why there’s so much noise around him. Simply, he is the best player in the world right now.

In a 'playground pick' he’d even get the nod over Lionel Messi as your first choice, and that of course is some accolade.

Southgate will have a plan for him, and England’s speedster Kyle Walker will be central to that.

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The England boss may even tinker with his system for France as he has done before for specific opposition.

But the French threat comes in many guises. It is just that Mbappe, with five goals already here, is the most dangerous of them. Not only is he lightning quick, but he can unleash an unexpected thunderbolt from anywhere.

England’s most destructive opponent though can be themselves, and particularly in the moments of any game where they appear lacklustre in body and slow in mind; that’s when Senegal looked dangerous and were unlucky not to get an opener.

Once England had scored, they were devastating and, after going three up, they controlled the game quite comfortably.

Kylian Mbappe is France's top goalscorer at the 2022 World Cup. Credit: PA

They cannot afford to go through the motions at any stage against the French, who will be less forgiving than Senegal.

Most importantly though England must focus on what they’re good at; they have kept clean sheets in three out of their four games so far, are the tournament’s top scorers and those goals have come from eight different players.

Form like that takes some dismantling whether you’re up against the world champions or not.