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England vs France

'I fear England the most' - France legend Petit admits Les Bleus should be scared of World Cup quarter-final opponents

17:13 EAT 05/12/2022
Jordan Henderson 2022 World Cup
Legendary France international Emmanuel Petit has said he fears England the most, days before the Three Lions and the World Cup holders meet.
  • Highlights England as France's main threat
  • Also names Brazil and Spain as potential winners
  • Believes Southgate is doing the right things

WHAT HAPPENED? Saturday's quarter-final between France and England could prove to be one of, if not the, best game of the World Cup thus far with many intriguing battles across the pitch, mainly Kylian Mbappe versus Kyle Walker. Having got to the last eight without really a scratch, England will go into the game full of confidence. That's something the former France man fears, with Petit claiming Deschamps' side are wary of the Three Lions.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to Midnite, he said: "I fear England the most. There are four teams that are different for me, there's England, Brazil, Spain and France. They're the teams that have shown something different. France don't want to play against England but if they have to then they'll do everything they can to win.

"England are very similar to France in terms of quality and if you ask the French players, they won't want to play against England. Gareth Southgate has received so much criticism recently but I have confidence in him. England have improved and it's very difficult to win big tournaments. I'm not sure if Southgate will still be England's manager after the World Cup but it's time for England to make a point and he is doing the right things."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Saturday's fixture is the first time the two teams have met at a World Cup since 1982, where the Three Lions coming away 3-1 victors in the group stage. However, France have enjoyed more success in the meetings since, winning six of the 12 subsequent fixtures including the last one - a 3-2 victory in a friendly in 2017.

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WHAT NEXT FOR PETIT? No doubt the former defensive midfielder will be cheering on his country as they go in search of a second consecutive World Cup triumph.