Former manager Glenn Hoddle believes England’s strength on the substitutes bench may tip the balance in favor of them in Saturday’s World Cup quarterfinal against France.
Gareth Southgate, the head coach, has many options in attacking third and has used his team to great effect in Qatar. England scored 12 goals in just four matches.
Southgate’s Saturday start line-up will be the focus, with such players as Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and captain Harry Kane all in contention.
Hoddle however, the England captain at the 1998 France tournament said that England’s ability make quick changes in times of tight situations could have been the key to its success.
Hoddle, analyst for Betfair and Ambassador for Betfair said that “I can imagine this going to extra-time, but I believe England will win it using their subs.”
England has players who can play and make a difference, even though it may be more difficult than usual. This could be an opportunity for England to return into a sport they haven’t experienced before.
“France rested many players against Tunisia and it was obvious their fragilities in that match. This game may be close because they haven’t had the same depth as England, especially going forward.
“Subs will be called on for different reasons than in previous games. They’ll be sent on to win the game or save it.”
England has had eight scorers thus far and England is showing their depth, but France boasts Kylian Mbappe who may be the most important match-winner.
France is a great side. They are the best team in the tournament. Hoddle said, “No.”
England will have to defeat Kylian Mbappe as they’ve got the best player in the tournament.
Hoddle however points out that Mbappe’s inability to provide a strong defensive role can be an area of weakness.
The former midfielder stated that Mbappe is a problem to be dealt with, however, there was an Achilles heel. France’s greatness (and he’s very good at it) means you can’t allow him to defend.
There’s an overload, and it can be exploited. If Mbappe begins tracking Kyle Walker, then push him back. That’s what you want.
He doesn’t appear to defend in any of the games that I have seen.
They wait for him to kick the ball, so he can respond. You have to be really canny to defend that ball. England has the ability to exploit the space on the right, and overload the left side.