France captain Hugo Lloris reckons England are poised to win a major tournament, though he will do everything in his power to ensure that does not happen in Qatar.

England face France in a World Cup quarter-final on Saturday at Al Bayt Stadium.

It will be the third World Cup meeting between the Three Lions and Les Bleus, with the England winning both of the previous two, a 2-0 victory in 1966 and 3-1 in 1982.

World champions France have only lost one of their past eight meetings with England, suffering a 2-0 defeat in a friendly in November 2015. 

With England having reached the semi-finals in Russia and then the final of Euro 2020 last year, Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris, who will be tasked with keeping out an attack that has scored 12 goals in four games in Qatar, knows they must be treated as a major contender.

"To be honest, if we compare both sides there were more English players In Russia than French players," Lloris said in a press conference when asked if France's triumph in Russia gave them the edge.

"If you look at the England squad there were finalists and runners-up at the Euros and a real progression.

"Their team is mature and ready to compete and go for trophies. They were unlucky at the Euros, they came very close.

"For our side there has been a lot of changes, a new generation that are ready to compete, they play in the best teams in Europe, but we have a good mixture of experience and younger players.

"We try to become stronger step by step and we have to be ready to challenge England. It's going to be a big battle."

Didier Deschamps was also complimentary of France's opponents and believes Gareth Southgate is unfairly maligned by some sections of the British media.

"They don't have any," Deschamps replied when asked what weaknesses England have that France could exploit.

"You talk about the British media but you [the French press] also ask tough questions of the team sometimes. All teams have strengths, not many of them have too many weaknesses, just some slightly less strong points.

"I very much like Gareth, we've met on a number of occasions, talked about a number of things. It seems not everyone appreciates him so much in his own country.

"That’s not because he's not a good footballer, he had a distinguished career, and he's also a very good coach. He's enabled England to get some very good results, I very much like him."

Kyle Walker will not "roll out a red carpet" for Kylian Mbappe as England prepare to face France in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

Mbappe is the tournament's top scorer so far with five goals in four matches, including a double in the reigning champions' 3-1 victory over Poland in the round of 16.

That win set up a clash in the final eight with England, giving Three Lions' manager Gareth Southgate a headache on how to best counter the threat of Mbappe.

Walker is the player many believe will be chosen to deal with the power and pace of Mbappe, with the possibility that Southgate will opt to play with a back five.

While Walker lauded Mbappe's talents, the Manchester City defender feels he is well-equipped to cope with the Paris Saint-Germain star.

"Of course I understand the focus and I understand what I need to do to stop him," Walker told reporters. "It's easier said than done but I don't underestimate myself.

"I've come up against some of the best players in the world but I have to treat it just as another game. You have to give him respect but not too much.

"I'm not going to roll out a red carpet for him and tell him to score. It's a World Cup, it's do or die.

"I'm not going home so I'm not going to let him ruin that for my family."

Other France forwards have impressed alongside Mbappe, such as Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud, the latter of whom became Les Bleus' all-time record goalscorer with his strike against Poland, with Walker stressing the focus is not just on the PSG forward.

Walker says it is important England pay due attention to all of France's attackers, and not just Mbappe, adding: "It will be a tough game but a team cannot just be about one person.

"When we've [City] played Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, we're not just thinking of Mbappe and it's the same on Saturday. 

"He's a tool in their armoury - and a very good one - but you can't underestimate their other players.

"We know he's a great player and that's why he's the focus of all questions. But let's not forget Olivier Giroud who has scored lots of goals, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann.

"For me all the questions shouldn't be about him [Mbappe]. I appreciate he's a great footballer, but there are others too."

At 32-years-old, Walker is one of the older members of England's squad, with young stars such as Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham playing a starring role in England's campaign so far.

Walker commended the Three Lions' new generation, reserving particular praise for Bellingham, who has lit up the tournament with his sparkling midfield displays at just 19-years-old.

"It is great for the English game," Walker declared. "As you mentioned, Jude [Bellingham] being one who has the courage to play for England that others didn't have when they were younger.

"They have no fear and they go in and express themselves. I feel the standard of players has gone up another level in this tournament."

Gareth Southgate has pushed the England squad ahead of their World Cup quarter-final against France, challenging his side to create history in Qatar.

The Three Lions progressed past Senegal in the first knockout round to clinch a tie against the defending champions, presenting England's biggest test so far at the tournament.

Defeat against Didier Deschamps' side would mark England's earliest exit from a major tournament under Southgate, who led the side to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia and finished as runners-up to Italy at Euro 2020.

While those improvements are significant, England have fallen at a crucial hurdle against tough opponents in each of those tournaments – losing 2-1 to Croatia in 2018 before a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat at Wembley last year.

Southgate has used that record to issue a challenge to his squad, identifying that winning fixtures away from home against top opposition is something yet to be achieved.

"We've made quite a bit of history over the last four or five years, not all of it good, but that's the great challenge," he said.

"When you go back through the tournaments, you do see the teams that have knocked England out. We haven't been able to do that [win an away knockout against elite opposition] so that's the next test for this team.

"We have a lot of experience of these moments and they know that they've had to win games in different ways; they've had to come from behind in big matches.

"What we talked about against Senegal was keeping the relentless pressure going, not sitting back when we were ahead, making sure that we kept the intensity of our game. We've got to do that now against the world champions."

England's success under Southgate is a far cry from his predecessors, where disappointing exits from tournaments were par from the course, which led Southgate to identify the difficulties faced on the international stage – and highlighted bringing in young players early was crucial.

"There have been lots of moments when to play with England is difficult. It's a different sort of challenge to your club. It's far more scrutiny," he explained.

"So you have to be able to handle that. When we're selecting players, we're looking at their ability to handle that mentally as much as anything else.

"The young lads that have come in are showing that. But you never know until they are in these moments how that's going to be.

"We had a lot of caps on the pitch against Senegal, even the younger ones, because we've blooded them early."

Gareth Southgate felt his trust in youth paid dividends after watching his Three Lions youngsters guide England past Senegal and into the World Cup quarter-finals.

Nineteen-year-old Jude Bellingham provided steel and energy in midfield while Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden – selected ahead of Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish – contributed the craft as England won 3-0 at Al Bayt Stadium.

The result sets up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash against defending champions France on Saturday.

Bellingham and 22-year-old Foden enjoyed assists for the first two England goals, scored by Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane, while 21-year-old Saka scored the third from another Foden cross.

It amounted to a satisfying night for manager Southgate, with Bellingham particularly catching the eye.

"I don't think we could have predicted how quickly he would mature, even in the last three months that's gone to another level," Southgate said of the Borussia Dortmund midfielder.

"We wanted to invest in young players on the basis that we felt they could be something special in the future. It's meant the likes of Bukayo has 20-odd caps already coming to a tournament like this, [Declan] Rice was in the squad at 19…

"You suffer a bit sometimes because they're not perfect when they come in. But you can see the mentality, and further down the line you get the kind of performances we are now getting. The three youngest players we felt had earned that trust in a game of this size, and they've shown great maturity and all contributed in their own way."

France will present an entirely different challenge to Senegal, and Southgate is a huge admirer of Didier Deschamps' side.

"It's the biggest test we could face," Southgate said. "They are world champions, have an incredible depth of talent and outstanding individual players that are very difficult to play against. It's a great challenge."

Kylian Mbappe scored twice in France's 3-1 victory over Poland earlier on Sunday to take his tally to five goals for the tournament, and he will be the man England have to pay the closest attention to.

Southgate said: "He's a world-class player, he's already delivered big moments in this tournament and other tournaments.

"They also have [Antoine] Griezmann who has played over 70 consecutive games for France, he's a phenomenal player, we know Olivier Giroud so well, and they have outstanding young midfield players.

"Everywhere you look in every age group, they have incredible depth in every position. It's a huge test but one we are looking forward to."

Senegal arrived in Qatar as African champions and with high hopes, but frequent lapses in concentration defensively have contributed to their exit.

Coach Aliou Cisse refused to criticise his players and instead highlighted the challenge they face in trying to bridge the gulf in quality to the best sides in the world.

He said: "We played a very good England team, you saw that, and we just weren't as good as we should have been.

"We were missing two or three players that could've made a difference. But you could see the difference in the teams tonight. We have worked hard to become the best team in Africa, but tonight we were playing one of the top five teams in the world and you could see the difference.

"We were 18th in the rankings before tonight and we were playing one of the big five, so it's an ongoing process."

Cisse agreed to add another year to his contract last month, extending it to 2024, but refused to discuss his future when asked.

"I don't want to talk about that," he said. "We've just lost a game, are knocked out of the tournament, and I will need to draw the lessons from this game. Currently, I am coach of this team, and we'll see what the future brings."

Gareth Southgate has no concern about calling upon Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka to take a penalty in a shootout at the World Cup.

The pair were among a trio of players to miss from the spot in the European Championship final defeat to Italy last year, along with Jadon Sancho, who was not selected for the tournament in Qatar.

Rashford has been a fine performer for Southgate's side, scoring a trio of goals to sit joint-top of the scoring charts, while Saka netted a brace in the demolition of Iran in the opening group match.

Now into the knockout stage, with a round of 16 tie against Senegal on the horizon, the prospect of penalties continues to be a talking point – particularly regarding who could be called upon.

Asked if he had any reservations about either Rashford or Saka stepping up in a shootout, Southgate said: "None at all.

"Marcus' stats would be among the best in the world on penalty taking, and Bukayo is now taking them more regularly with his club. They're both in a good space with that."

In the World Cup in Russia, Southgate introduced players, including Rashford, off the bench in order to take penalties but was criticised for the same approach against Italy – with Rashford and Sancho both missing after their late introductions.

Southgate defended that tactic and hinted that similar moves could be made in the future, if required.

"In terms of the changes, Marcus came on as a sub in Moscow and took a penalty four or five minutes earlier than we put him on at Wembley," he added.

"I've seen lots of teams do that and scored, and it's the right thing. If you don't then it's wrong.

"We've got to stick with our processes, give ourselves the best percentages of winning, and we feel we are very well prepared.

"We've won two, we've lost the last one. We've refined some of those things we didn't think were quite right. We feel that the process is good."

Harry Kane feels "as match fit as I'm ever going to feel" as he prepares to lead England against Senegal at the World Cup on Sunday.

England captain Kane has yet to score in Qatar and has struggled to hit top form after sustaining an ankle injury in the opening 6-2 victory over Iran.

He concedes he would liked to have opened his account but is not overly concerned and says it is all part of a plan to peak as the tournament develops.

The Tottenham striker said: "At the World Cup in 2018, from a physical side of things, we started the tournament well, I scored a load of goals and as the tournament progressed, my performances dipped.

"At the Euros I tried to do it the other way round to make sure I was in the best place for the knockouts. I'd love to be sitting here with two or three goals but, minutes-wise, it hasn't been too tough, and hasn't been too physical heading into the knockout stages.

"I feel really good, I feel as match fit as I'm ever going to feel. Only time will tell but hopefully I can do well tomorrow and bring my best form into the knockout phase."

On his ankle, he added: "It feels fine. I had that knock in the first game but it's been getting better day by day and I almost don't feel it at all now. Form-wise I feel like I've been playing well. The goals are what I will be judged on but I am calm and always try to focus on the team, do my best and I can do that in many different ways.

"I will continue to do that and if the goals come then great. As a striker I always want to be scoring goals, it's going to be a tough game against Senegal but hopefully I can get off the mark."

Kane dismissed suggestions England have not performed well at the World Cup so far ahead of their round of 16 clash with the Africa Cup of Nations champions at Al Bayt Stadium.

He said: "We scored the most goals in the group stage [alongside Spain] and we have a good defensive record. 

"I think we're in a good place. The group stage is just about getting through, we did our job and now it's a second competition of knockout football. We have to be prepared to face a tough side on Sunday.

"Senegal's greatest asset is their togetherness, that's what's seen them become African champions and get through the group stage here. It'll be a tough test but you're at the World Cup, so you expect to play against the best in the world."

England boss Gareth Southgate has a fully fit squad to choose from but some selection dilemmas, primarily in attacking positions with Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling all candidates to play wide of Kane.

"It's a good position to be in," said Southgate. "You want your players in confident mood and our forward players are. You want to make the best decision possible and in some respects I am not sure there's a right or wrong answer.

"They all offer different attributes and it's just trying to get the balance right and make the best decisions."

Southgate is aware of the task that awaits his side and does not feel the absence of injured Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane weakens Senegal.

He added: "We've been really impressed by them. They are African champions and have a lot of belief in the team. They have some excellent individual players that can cause problems and a good structure.

"[Senegal coach] Aliou [Cisse] has done a fantastic job. They were unlucky not to qualify from their group in 2018 and did so this time.

"Mane is an incredible player and every team in the world would want to have him but Senegal have become stronger in his absence. They have shown great spirit but losing him doesn't change the level of difficulty of the fixture tomorrow. We have to be at our very best to win the game."

Harry Kane feels "as match fit as I'm ever going to feel" as he prepares to lead England against Senegal at the World Cup on Sunday.

England captain Kane has yet to score in Qatar and has struggled to hit top form after sustaining an ankle injury in the opening 6-2 victory over Iran.

He concedes he would liked to have opened his account but is not overly concerned and says it is all part of a plan to peak as the tournament develops.

The Tottenham striker said: "At the World Cup in 2018, from a physical side of things, we started the tournament well, I scored a load of goals and as the tournament progressed, my performances dipped.

"At the Euros I tried to do it the other way round to make sure I was in the best place for the knockouts. I'd love to be sitting here with two or three goals but, minutes-wise, it hasn't been too tough, and hasn't been too physical heading into the knockout stages.

"I feel really good, I feel as match fit as I'm ever going to feel. Only time will tell but hopefully I can do well tomorrow and bring my best form into the knockout phase."

On his ankle, he added: "It feels fine. I had that knock in the first game but it's been getting better day by day and I almost don't feel it at all now. Form-wise I feel like I've been playing well. The goals are what I will be judged on but I am calm and always try to focus on the team, do my best and I can do that in many different ways.

"I will continue to do that and if the goals come then great. As a striker I always want to be scoring goals, it's going to be a tough game against Senegal but hopefully I can get off the mark."

Kane dismissed suggestions England have not performed well at the World Cup so far ahead of their round of 16 clash with the Africa Cup of Nations champions at Al Bayt Stadium.

He said: "We scored the most goals in the group stage [alongside Spain] and we have a good defensive record. 

"I think we're in a good place. The group stage is just about getting through, we did our job and now it's a second competition of knockout football. We have to be prepared to face a tough side on Sunday.

"Senegal's greatest asset is their togetherness, that's what's seen them become African champions and get through the group stage here. It'll be a tough test but you're at the World Cup, so you expect to play against the best in the world."

England boss Gareth Southgate has a fully fit squad to choose from but some selection dilemmas, primarily in attacking positions with Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling all candidates to play wide of Kane.

"It's a good position to be in," said Southgate. "You want your players in confident mood and our forward players are. You want to make the best decision possible and in some respects I am not sure there's a right or wrong answer.

"They all offer different attributes and it's just trying to get the balance right and make the best decisions."

Southgate is aware of the task that awaits his side and does not feel the absence of injured Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane weakens Senegal.

He added: "We've been really impressed by them. They are African champions and have a lot of belief in the team. They have some excellent individual players that can cause problems and a good structure.

"[Senegal coach] Aliou [Cisse] has done a fantastic job. They were unlucky not to qualify from their group in 2018 and did so this time.

"Mane is an incredible player and every team in the world would want to have him but Senegal have become stronger in his absence. They have shown great spirit but losing him doesn't change the level of difficulty of the fixture tomorrow. We have to be at our very best to win the game."

John Stones says he has never seen a young player as talented as Phil Foden, as Gareth Southgate weighs up whether to stick with the Manchester City man for England's World Cup last-16 clash with Senegal.

Foden was left out of England's line-up for their first two games in Qatar – a 6-2 thrashing of Iran and a goalless draw with the United States – but he got on the scoresheet after starting Tuesday's 3-0 win over Wales. 

He led his team-mates for expected goals (1.04 xG), shots in the Wales area (four) and crosses (five) last time out, and Foden's City colleague expects him to continue impressing.

"I've never seen anyone at that age like Phil, with his ability, his football knowledge, and his freedom in how he plays and how he expresses himself," Stones said on Friday.

"The ability he's got is frightening. I'm a huge fan of Phil, I'm lucky to get to play with him pretty much every day.

"I look forward to seeing what he can do and I love playing with him. I'm extremely lucky, City are extremely lucky, England as well, that we've got somebody like that. 

"I want to help him through whatever it might be, and make sure he gets what he needs on and off the pitch that allows him to go and play as he played the other night."

Foden faces stern competition for a place in England's frontline, with each of Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka having scored in Qatar, and Stones does not envy Southgate's dilemma. 

"It's the hardest part of being a manager, choosing that starting eleven and knowing there's eleven happy players and the rest aren't," Stones added.

"We've got an incredible group here, and the boys who don't make the pitch or come on are very selfless and they put their own feelings aside for the group. 

"That's part of our success. I don't envy managers in general when they've got to make those decisions."

While England's tally of nine goals at this World Cup is the most they have scored in the group stages at a major tournament, back-to-back clean sheets also aided their bid to top Group B.

Stones' central defensive partner Harry Maguire has been heavily criticised after slipping down the pecking order at Manchester United, and the City man believes his response has been exemplary.

"Right from the first game, he's given the best response with what he's been doing. In all three games, he's been terrific," Stones said of Maguire. 

"Knowing what he's been going through and knowing the person he is, it speaks volumes about him to come through that and still believe in himself, like I believed in him and all his team-mates did.

"I think there was a lot of noise from outside which he's not listened to, and he's tried to improve and better himself, and he's come into this tournament and hit the ground running. That's great credit to him."

Chris Robshaw is convinced Eddie Jones remains the right person to lead England at next year's Rugby World Cup and drew comparisons to Gareth Southgate's success in football.

The Australian endured a difficult November campaign, with defeat to South Africa in their final game capping a worst calendar year performance for the team since 2008.

With the sport's showpiece tournament set to kick off in France next September, England have 10 months to try and play their way into form and go one better than their run to final in Japan in 2019 where they were downed by the Springboks.

Robshaw acknowledged it has been a bruising year for England but believes Jones is the right man for the job, likening him to Three Lions boss Southgate, who has defied critics twice in major tournaments.

"I have been in these situations and the autumn can be tough because you are playing against the best teams in the world," he said at the launch of the Robshaw Kerslake Foundation he has set up with wife Camilla.

"It is about taking your medicine and thinking, okay, in this competition and in this series we weren't quite good enough, but we can come back stronger.

"We also have to learn to move forward, you can't look down on it too much because there are still positives to come from it, and we need to think about how we can be better next time we meet.

"They were saying the same thing about Gareth Southgate and the England football team and now look at how they have played in this World Cup, they have been superb so far.

"In sport, things change very quickly, and I very much believe Eddie is the right man to lead the squad.

"From my experience, he is the best man-manager I have ever worked with and his ability to make players better and better.

"He is someone who will definitely go away and study what went right and very much importantly, what went wrong and why it didn't work.

"He will want to go back out there and prove people wrong, and I have no doubt he is the right man."

Gareth Southgate labelled Marcus Rashford at the World Cup as a "completely different player" to his England performances during the delayed Euro 2020.

The Manchester United forward missed a spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out in the European Championship final defeat to Italy before a wave of online racial abuse was targeted at Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho.

Rashford appeared out of form following the Euro 2020 heartbreak but impressive club performances for United ahead of the November break saw him secure a place in Southgate's 26-man squad for Qatar.

The 25-year-old scored as a substitute in the 6-2 victory over Iran and celebrated a brace after starting in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Wales to send England through as Group B winners.

That made Rashford the first United player to score three goals at a major tournament for England since Bobby Charlton at the 1966 World Cup, leading Southgate to hail the striker's transformation.

"It has been a challenge for him. I went and saw him before the season and had a long chat with him, he had some clear ideas on what he needed to do," the England manager said of Rashford.

"With his club, he's been happy with his performances this year and it showed on the training ground with us.

"We've got a completely different player here than we did at the Euros, he could have had a hat-trick in the first half as he was getting in all the right areas. He deserved his goals."

No player at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium enjoyed more touches in the opposition box (eight), shots (six) – just one fewer than the entire Wales team managed – or attempts on target (four) than Rashford.

His excellent showing offers Southgate a selection dilemma heading into Sunday's last-16 clash with Senegal, with Phil Foden also scoring after Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka dropped to the bench.

Southgate's decision not to use Foden at all during the drag goalless draw against the United States drew criticism, but the manager welcomed the headache he now has.

"You need goals from all areas, it is a problem for opposition teams if the threat is coming from other areas of the pitch," Southgate added. 

"We have talked about that a lot, across the three games pretty much all our forward line have got off the mark with goals or quality assists.

"That is a good place for the forwards to be, they need that confidence, competing for places is where we want to be because then everyone knows they have to deliver.

"You want those sorts of decisions, we need strength in depth. Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips both got minutes, you never know when we are going to need certain players."

England reached the semi-finals at the World Cup in Russia in 2018 before going one better at the Euro 2020 three years later, but Qatar marked the first time the Three Lions have topped their group at FIFA's global competition since 2006.

Southgate remains buoyed with confidence as he believes England are a much-improved side to the one that fell to defeat against Croatia in 2018's last four.

"Compared to Russia there's a different mentality and a different belief," he continued. "In Russia, it was more like could we just win one knockout game, but there's more confidence now.

"We have more experience, I'm not sure if we're ahead of where we were [at the Euros]. But we have achieved our first objective.

"Against Senegal, who have some top players playing in big leagues across Europe, we know on the rankings we will be favourites but they are a very dangerous team."

Harry Kane was named in England's starting XI for Tuesday's World Cup clash with Wales, with Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford and Kyle Walker also coming into the team.

Gareth Southgate gave little away on Monday when asked if Kane, who has been struggling with a foot injury, would feature from the off at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

England's progress from Group B would be assured with a point against Wales, who would need to win by at least three goals if they are to qualify, depending on the outcome of Iran v United States in the other match.

Kane has only scored three times in 10 games for England in 2022, with all those goals coming from the penalty spot. 

Southgate has made four changes from England's last game.

Foden did not come on in the goalless draw with the USA, with Southgate's decision not to call on the Manchester City star drawing criticism from some quarters, but the youngster has replaced Bukayo Saka, while Sterling has made way for Rashford.

Kyle Walker, meanwhile, makes his first start of the tournament, with the full-back having recovered from a groin injury he suffered in October, and Jordan Henderson got the nod over Mason Mount.

Wales boss Rob Page, meanwhile, has made three changes from the side he started in the 2-0 defeat to Iran.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off in that match and has been replaced by Leicester City's Danny Ward.

Midfielder Joe Allen and Fulham winger Dan James also came in for the Dragons, with Connor Roberts and Harry Wilson dropping to the bench.

Marcus Rashford shrugged off the suggestion England are too conservative under Gareth Southgate as he insisted they have a killer instinct.

England drew 0-0 with the United States on Friday, in a World Cup match that saw both teams only accumulate a combined 1.4 expected goals (xG).

The draw leaves England – 6-2 victors over Iran in their opening match – on four points at the top of Group B, meaning they only need to avoid defeat against neighbours Wales on Tuesday to guarantee qualification.

A win would confirm their place as group winners, but manager Southgate has been criticised in some quarters for his pragmatic approach.

Yet with England having reached a World Cup semi-final in 2018 and a final at the delayed Euro 2020 last year, Rashford does not believe the critics' point stands up to scrutiny.

"We've shown progression, I can only speak on the time that I’ve been here, from 2016," Rashford said in a press conference.

"You look at the performance against Iceland when we got knocked out of the Euros, it's a million miles off where we are now, you can’t even compare them.

"We have great players, playing top football against the best opposition week in and week out, so we can't go into games and think negatively. It's not something the players do or the manager does. He always wants us to show people what we can do.

"We play positive football, it showed against Iran, scoring six goals. They're a top-20 team in the world. We've seen the smaller nations get massive upsets in the tournament.

"So scoring those goals, it's a big sign of what we're about. If we can kill a team off, we'd want to do that."

The onus will not be wholly on England at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, with Wales needing a win to keep their qualification hopes alive.

After drawing their first game against the United States, Wales lost 2-0 to Iran last time out, meaning they must topple England to stand a chance of progressing from the group, and even a win might not be enough.

"Of course we can [beat England], we have shown time and time again when you write us off we will prove people wrong," said Wales defender Chris Mepham.

"The picture is clear now: we have to beat England and be prepping for that. Hopefully we can be in a position where we give a good account of ourselves and see where it takes us."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Wales – Danny Ward

With first-choice goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey seeing red against Iran, it means Danny Ward will likely be coming into the starting XI.

Ward had a poor start to the season with Leicester City, though he gradually improved. That being said, he picked the ball out of his net twice in the short time he was on the pitch against Iran.

If Wales are to get the result they need, they will need their goalkeeper to be at his very best.

England – Phil Foden

Much has been made of Southgate's decision to leave Manchester City attacker Phil Foden on the bench against the USA.

While Foden is not guaranteed to play, Southgate might be wise to hand the youngster a start to exploit the space that might be left given Wales are going to have to go for the win.

PREDICTION

This is England's first World Cup match against a fellow British side. The Three Lions are unbeaten in all three games against other British teams at the Euros (W1 D1 vs Scotland, W1 vs Wales), and Opta's model has them as the favourites for this one.

England are given a 66 per cent chance of victory, while Wales are rated as having a 13.1 per cent hope. The draw is at 20.9 per cent.

Harry Kane is fit to face Wales, but Gareth Southgate stopped short of confirming the England captain would start.

Kane sustained a foot injury in England's World Cup opener against Iran, only to recover in time to lead the Three Lions out again against the United States.

The Tottenham forward struggled to impact that goalless draw, however, and there have been calls for him to be dropped for the final group game against Wales.

England are not yet through but would have to lose by four goals at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday to fall short of the knockout stage.

Discussing his team selection, Southgate outlined the need to "balance freshness with stability".

Ahead of playing the United States, the England manager said it would be a "brave decision" not to start Kane, but he spoke with far less certainty when that quote was repeated back to him on the eve of the Wales match.

In response to that question on Kane, Southgate said: "We're going to pick a team that we believe can win the game. That's our priority always.

"[Kane] is fine in terms of the knock he's had. We keep saying it's his foot and [everyone else] keeps saying it's his ankle. It's his foot.

"He's trained well. In the whole group, it's only Ben White missing with illness.

"We've got pretty much everyone to select from, which is a great position to be in. It makes decisions difficult, of course, but you want a fully fit squad. That's where we're at."

Even if Southgate does alter his line-up, there is unlikely to be a repeat of the eight changes made between the second and third games in Russia four years ago, when England were already through.

"It's always a challenge, and of course we've got 26 players," the England boss said. "But we're at a major tournament, and it's not about giving caps out. We're here to try to go as far as we possibly can."

Southgate added Wales "seem to have additional motivation to play against England", describing it as "a great sporting rivalry, no more than that – [although] the feeling may not be mutual".

He has no issue with Wales' determination to beat their rivals, though, with Kieffer Moore having said at the start of the tournament he "cannot wait" to knock England out.

"He's entitled to say whatever he wants leading into a game," replied Southgate. "I'd be amazed if he didn't feel that way.

"We've got to just focus on what we're about, preparing for the game in our normal way. We've got to bring our quality to the game and composure and play with the tempo that makes our team really difficult to play against.

"It's pointless us focusing on what's said before the game. We've got to go on the pitch and play well."

Gareth Southgate says Phil Foden will "play a big part" in the remainder of England's World Cup campaign, despite the midfielder's limited playing time so far.

Foden came on for the final 19 minutes of England's 6-2 win over Iran in their Group B opener and was an unused substitute in the goalless draw with the United States.

Southgate was criticised for not turning to the Manchester City star during a poor display from the Three Lions against the USA.

The England manager defended his decision after the drab stalemate, but Foden now looks set to play a more prominent role, possibly starting with Tuesday's clash against Wales.

"We love Phil, he's a super player," Southgate told BBC Sport. "He's going to play a big part in this tournament for us.

"Phil's mentality to training and the way he's approaching everything is excellent."

Foden has played 20 matches for City this season – only Joao Cancelo (21) and Bernardo Silva (22) have featured more regularly under Pep Guardiola this term.

He has scored eight times and assisted a further three goals, and Southgate has talked up the 22-year-old's versatility in midfield and attack.

"There are different possibilities. He can play on either flank and can play as a false nine if we chose to do that," Southgate said.

"He can play off a striker, although he doesn't do that as much at club level so that's maybe applicable to certain games or certain moments.

"He's a very flexible player in terms of the attributes he has and where he can have an impact. He's a goal threat, which is also very important."

 

England will advance to the last 16 should they avoid a four-goal loss to Wales, though Southgate will be targeting a victory to secure top spot in Group B.

The match at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium will be England's first against a fellow British side at the World Cup, but Southgate does not believe that brings extra pressure.

"None more than normal," he said. "We recognise this is a game with a lot of focus because it's a local derby, but we're England – everyone wants to beat us.

"There are high expectations every time we're on the pitch. We've got to focus on playing as well as we can while showing the composure and ruthlessness needed to win."

England have won each of their past six games against Wales, scoring 11 goals in that run and conceding only one – a Gareth Bale free-kick at Euro 2016. 

Phil Foden is "the best footballer England have", according to former Three Lions captain Wayne Rooney, who suggests the Manchester City star must be played at the World Cup going forward.

The playmaker was an unused substitute during Friday's 0-0 draw with the United States, as Gareth Southgate's side missed the chance to seal top spot in Group B and progress to the knockout rounds.

Having been overlooked to start in both of their matches so far, Foden was forced to watch from the sidelines as his side laboured to a point, prompting criticism from former England players Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.

Now Rooney, the Three Lions' all-time record goalscorer, has added his voice to the chorus of dissent over the 22-year-old's exclusion from a crucial encounter.

"I found it very strange that Foden did not come on as a substitute against the USA," he wrote in his column for The Times. "Technically, he is the best footballer England have.

"I think if you have a talent like Foden, you simply have to play him. He is now a different player from the one we saw at Euro 2020, when he struggled to make an impact.

"He is more mature and came into this tournament on the back of a long period of brilliant performances for Manchester City.

"He has the form to go with the ability. If I were him, I would be very frustrated that I didn't get on the pitch at any stage of Friday’s game."

In a lacklustre performance without the energy and verve of their opening 6-2 win over Iran, England were kept out of danger at the back by another strong showing from Harry Maguire.

Manchester United's club captain has been mostly overlooked at club level this season, but Rooney was effusive in his praise for the centre-back, who recovered from illness to feature against the United States.

"[Maguire] was England's standout player on Friday," he added. "He had an excellent game against Iran.

"[He is] showing the quality on the ball, sound defending and unmistakable threat at set pieces. That makes him so important to the team."

England play their final Group B game against Wales on Tuesday, with Southgate's side looking to secure top spot ahead of the knockout rounds.

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