Day 11, Match 25
England vs. France, Quarter-final
Date and Location
July 9, BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany
Live on CBC TV and CBCSports.ca (11:45 a.m. ET). Consult the full broadcast schedule.
What's at stake
A spot in the semifinals against the winner of Sunday's quarter-final match-up between Brazil and the United States. Neither team has ever made it before to the final four — England previously reached the quarter-finals in 1995 and 2007, while France failed to make it out of the group stage in its only other World Cup appearance in 2003.
Setting the stage
Both teams enter this contest riding momentum.
After a slow start to the tournament, the English came on strong when it mattered by winning its final two matches — including a 2-0 win over Japan in its final group-stage game — to not only claim a spot in the knockout round but finish first in Group B.
In many ways, France was the best team of the first round, winning universal plaudits for their technical brilliance in dispatching Nigeria and Canada with relative ease. Even in a 4-2 loss to Germany, the French played with great heart and character, especially when they were reduced to 10 players in the second half.
Who has the advantage? It's too close to call.
France will have to make do without starting goalkeeper Berangere Sapowicz, who was given a red card for a dangerous tackle on Germany's Fatmire Bajramaj. Celine Deville will start in her place.
England could be without captain Faye White, who was replaced by youngster Sophie Bradley as a starter against Japan.
Player to watch for England
Jill Scott — The tireless midfielder has played every minute of every game thus far for England, and she scored a pivotal goal in her country's 2-1 win over New Zealand.
Player to watch for France
Louisa Necib — The elegant and technically gifted French midfielder was the revelation of the first round, her sublime distribution and brilliant playmaking skills dazzling fans and opponents alike.
The English perspective
"It will be a very tough game, and the games have always been very tough. We will have to be on our game to get through, and we'll be prepared and give it our best shot," coach Hope Powell told FATV.
The French perspective
"They're strong in all areas. If we manage to cut out their passes, it will be very good, but our forwards also have a role to play with their speed," defender Laura Georges told L'Equipe.
World Cup head-to-head
France and England have faced each other 12 times in international play, with the French earning five times and five draws. They have never met at the World Cup.