Our Predictions Ahead Of Today’s World Cup Fixtures
4 Dec 2022
Argentina and the Netherlands both booked their places into the last eight last night, in spite of spirited performances from Australia and the USA respectively. Today, we are looking at the possible outcomes of today’s fixtures, including a huge game for England in their bid for World Cup glory:
France vs Poland
World Cup holders France have largely impressed in their defence of the trophy, with Kylian Mbappé shining on the world stage as the leading man in their forward line. Despite pre tournament injuries to Karim Benzema, and 2018 World Cup midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, the French have coped well and are rebuilding their championship squad on the fly. Adrien Rabiot has impressed in midfield along with Aurélien Tchouaméni, and they have looked solid defensively aside from a makeshift line up against Tunisia.
Poland on the other hand can count themselves lucky to get out of their group, scraping in over Mexico in a situation that was nearly resolved by drawing lots. Robert Lewandowski bagged his first World Cup goal in the group stages, but has yet to hit the heights of his club form in international tournaments. If Poland have any chance in this game, he will need to get good service from the wings and be joined by runners from midfield – a tall task against a tactically astute French defence. Furthermore, Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny will have to continue his superb form in order to keep France at bay.
Poland were outclassed on Thursday against an Argentina side who have struggled to put games away this tournament. It will need a herculean effort from Czeslaw Michniewicz’s side if they are to cause an upset, but this game might be a bridge too far against the force that is Kylian Mbappé.
Score Prediction: France 2-0 Poland
England vs Senegal
As we approach another knockout stage with the Three Lions, Gareth Southgate will feel that his legacy as England manager could be tarnished by an early exit at the hands of Senegal. The AFCON champions may be missing Sadio Mané, but they possess quality in other areas of the pitch to hurt England if they become complacent.
Ismaïla Sarr is a player who has shown his quality in the Premier League over the last few seasons, and could be a real danger man if he can get in behind the England defence. Not only does he have the pace to cause problems for the back line, he also has a keen eye for goal and a spectacular finish in his locker. Edu Mendy has rediscovered the form he has lacked for Chelsea in a Senegal shirt, and on his day Idrissa Gueye can break up play as a combative midfielder.
All of this means that England will have to hit the ground running if they are to progress comfortably past this game. Southgate will have somewhat of a selection dilemma after Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden impressed against Wales. I believe the key to this game however will be the performance of Harry Kane. If the Tottenham striker can draw Kalidou Koulibaly out of position and create space for the wingers to run into, England should be able to create enough chances to put the game away. While Kane will be desperate to get his first goal of the tournament, it could be his playmaking ability that holds the key to unlock the Senegal back line.
Score Prediction: England 2-1 Senegal