Millions are expected to watch England’s World Cup quarter-finals against France

England's fans cheer for their team before the start of the Group B World Cup soccer match between England and Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Tuesday November 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Is football coming home for the second time this year? (Image: AP)

England are preparing to clash with France tonight – with millions of viewers set to watch the fight.

The winner of the match between Gareth Southgate’s team and Didier Deschamps’ team will advance to the semifinals in Qatar and have every chance of lifting the 18k solid gold trophy.

Thousands of fans will be rooting for England at Al Khor and millions more at home are expected to watch on TV as pubs and bars prepare for another great night.

All eyes are on England’s defensive line – and how the Three Lions will keep Kylian Mbappe at bay.

Psychic Uri Geller even got in on the action, vowing to use his mental powers to influence the game.

TVs will be blaring and beers flowing in England when the game kicks off at 7pm.

The match could even increase beer sales by six million pints, according to a trade organization.

The British Beer and Pub Association hopes the 7pm kick-off time for the Three Lions’ France clash will encourage punters to get there early.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Supporters react as they watch England's second World Cup match against USA on the big screen at Road to Victory, Europe's largest World Cup fan park at Mayfield Depot on November 25, 2022 in Manchester, England. The England team went into their second World Cup match of 2022 as favourites. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Pubs are expected to make huge profits tonight (Image: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

It believes the game can bring a £26million boost to the sector, with total pint sales on Saturday estimated at £28million.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “Hopefully the Saturday night slot of this game will bring good business to pubs as people can get to their pub early to secure a seat and cheer for the Three Lions.

“The World Cup has given a boost to beer sales and if England manage to beat France then hopefully it will stay that way.

“Pubs need this as they continue to weather an already difficult winter of rising energy costs and the cost of living crisis, and their prospects are further dampened by news of rail strikes during the normally busy Christmas period.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Supporters react as they watch England's second World Cup match against USA on the big screen at Road to Victory, Europe's largest World Cup fan park at Mayfield Depot on November 25, 2022 in Manchester, England. The England team went into their second World Cup match of 2022 as favourites. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Saturday’s game will allow thousands to start drinking early without fear of a work-related hangover (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Although the tournament will not be able to offset an extremely difficult trading environment, we hope it will provide a boost to the industry, at least in the short term, and continue to lift the nation’s spirits.’

Tonight’s fight on the pitch won’t be the only clash as some families prepare for the “lighthearted rivalry” that only comes with divided national loyalties.

Alexia Leachman, 48, grew up in Cardiff but is also French and now lives in Uzès in southern France.

However, their two daughters, Lila (12) and Sofia (8), are both English and also big football fans.

Undated family photo of Alexia Leachman (left) with her daughter Lila, 12, who is supporting England. Families separated by football affiliations gear up for England's blockbuster quarter-finals win against France on Saturday, with mother-daughter relationships and boastful Kylian Mbappe emails adding further intrigue through issue date: Saturday December 10, 2022. PA - Photo. See PA Story SPORT WorldCupFamily. Photo credit should read: Alexia Leachman /PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only to simultaneously illustrate events, things or people in the photo or facts mentioned in the photo caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner. the spectacle.

Alexia Leachman (left) with her England supporting daughter Lila, 12 (Image: PA)

“I’m Welsh but I’m also French, I have dual nationality so I feel very French and very Welsh, but I don’t feel English at all,” said Ms Leachman, author of Clear Your Head Trash.

“The game will be interesting because they will all support England.”

Meanwhile, Tom Thewlis, 30, from Oxford, has welcomed an email stick from his French uncle, who believes the daunting prospect of France’s Kylian Mbappe – the tournament’s top scorer – has made England right-back Kyle Walker too will be much.

“My uncle is a little joker. He always kind of tucked the boot in, especially when we were eliminated in the semifinals in Russia (2018),” he said.

Undated handout photo of England fan Tom Thewlis. Families separated by football allegiances gear up for England's blockbuster quarter-finals win against France on Saturday, with mother-daughter relationships and boastful emails from Kylian Mbappe intriguing Issue date: Saturday 10th December 2022. PA photo. See PA Story SPORT WorldCupFamily. Photo credit should read: Tom Thewlis/PA Wire EDITORS NOTE: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only to simultaneously illustrate events, things or people in the photo or facts mentioned in the photo caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner. the spectacle.

Tom Thewlis has ‘lighthearted banter’ with his French uncle (Image: PA)

“He already emailed me this week and talked to me about how Kylian Mbappe is going to have the last laugh at Kyle Walker, all that stuff and just some sort of general banter exchange.”

Mr Thewlis – who visits his French family every year – described the situation as a “lighthearted rivalry” and said it lends extra meaning to a game of which he is “calmly confident”.

Gareth Southgate was louder in his belief in the Three Lions and their ability to take on their opponents tonight.

He said: “Based on our experience, I think these big games are important reference points for the team.

England's Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice and Kyle Walker during a training session at Al Wakrah Sports Complex in Al Wakrah, Qatar. Picture date: Friday December 9, 2022. PA Photo. See PA Story WORLDCUP England. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use is subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without the prior consent of the rights holder.

All eyes are on England’s defensive line ahead of tonight’s game (Image: PA)

“You’ve had to go through a lot of different ways of winning games, some losses that hurt but we learned a lot from them and I think they prepare you for nights like tomorrow where you have to produce the very best version of you .

“The mentality is really the key. Believing that we deserve to be there and that we are ready to fight France for that semi-final spot.

But Southgate insisted the side must bring out the “very best version” of themselves if they are to keep their dreams alive by defeating the reigning world champions.

Additional police officers will be deployed in London as large swarms of English and French football fans are expected to pour into the city.

Downing Street said Rishi Sunak wished England “good luck” and he will be watching the game with friends and colleagues at the Prime Minister’s rural retreat, Checkers.

Elsewhere, singer Chesney Hawkes teamed up with members of the English band ahead of time to perform at Doha’s Souq Waqif marketplace.

Hawkes was dubbed a “lucky charm” by the England players after he performed his chart-hitting song “The One and Only” on the pitch during the break in their 3-0 group stage win over Wales.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/10/millions-expected-to-watch-englands-world-cup-quarter-final-clash-with-france-17913897/ Millions are expected to watch England's World Cup quarter-finals against France

Justin Scacco

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