England: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Henderson, Rice, Bellingham, Saka, Kane, Foden.
Subs: Grealish, Sterling, Rashford, Trippier, Pope, Phillips, Dier, Coady, Alexander-Arnold, Mount, Ramsdale, Wilson, Maddison, Gallagher.
France: Lloris, Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, Theo Hernandez, Tchouameni, Rabiot, Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud.
Subs: Pavard, Disasi, Guendouzi, Muani, Fofana, Veretout, Mandanda, Saliba, Coman, Areola, Konate, Camavinga, Thuram.
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (Brazil).
That third-time-lucky rule favouring France, then. Alexandre writes: “Funnily enough, a somewhat similar French proverb is ‘jamais deux sans trois’ (never twice without thrice). In other words, something having happened twice will happen a third time. The proverbs are turning against their own countries!” Now I don’t know what to think. All we know for sure is that one pithy saying will become seriously compromised tonight.
Some happier news. Our man Jason Rodrigues was cycling through London and spotted some Morocco fans reacting much as you’d expect to their epochal win over Portugal. Click below for good vibes.
A touching tribute to Grant Wahl. Flowers have been placed in the press box in memory of the much-loved US sportswriter, who passed away at the Argentina-Netherlands match last night. Condolences to his friends and family.
We now know who England or France will face in the semi-final. Morocco have spent the last couple of hours holding Portugal at arm’s length, winning 1-0 and deservedly becoming the first African nation to make it to the last four. Walid Regragui’s groundbreaking side could have had more than Youssef En-Nesyri’s winning goal today as well. I’d hazard a guess that Gareth Southgate and Didier Deschamps, given the choice of prospective semi-final opponents, would both have plumped for Morocco … but good luck breaching that defence, and there’s plenty of counter-attacking flair in there too. So here’s the semi-final line-up as it stands …
Tue 13: Argentina v Croatia (7pm GMT, Lusail Iconic Stadium)
Wed 14: England/France v Morocco (7pm GMT, Al Bayt Stadium)
Feelings of anticipation and excitement mixed with very real fear? They’re perfectly natural. Go with them.
England play France tonight for only the third time at a World Cup finals. The good news: they’ve won both previous meetings, Roger Hunt’s two goals enough at Wembley in 1966; Bryan Robson scoring after 27 seconds to spark a 3-1 win at España 82. The bad news: France go into this match with both Kylian Mbappé and the third-time-lucky rule on their side. Kick off is at 7pm GMT, 10pm at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. يحدث! It’s on!