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Ahead of Saturday's marquee showdown between England and France in the World Cup quarterfinals we had our two experts, James Benge for England and Jonathan Johnson for France, sit down and answer the big burning questions facing these two teams as they aim to keep their World Cup hopes alive in Qatar.

1. Can Kylian Mbappe be stopped?

James Benge: What an opportune moment to point you in the direction of a piece I wrote on Thursday examining just this topic. The answer is that you probably can't stop Mbappe entirely and that overcompensating for him may merely open gaps for Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann to wreak havoc. 

But if you needed one man to go one on one with Mbappe and make it hard for him, it would be a fully fit Kyle Walker. He has the pace and the defensive instincts and his past meetings have given him an understanding of where to guide Mbappe, when to attack him and where his covering defenders need to be. The question is whether the Manchester City defender is fully fit having played 150 minutes since a breakneck recovery from groin surgery. If he is not ready to go in one of the toughest duels in his career then maybe it is only Mbappe who can stop Mbappe.

Jonathan Johnson: Individually, he can. However, that still leaves Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembele to worry about. Instead of focusing too intently on Mbappe, Gareth Southgate and England would perhaps be best focusing on France's defensive shortcomings and trying to play in a way which forces Les Bleus to concentrate more on that side of their game. Given the French firepower up top, but penchant for conceding goals, they will look to outscore the Three Lions.

2. Should England switch to a back three/five system?

JB: Unlike certain sections of the English commentariat I do not have much truck with the idea that a back three or five need necessarily be more defensive. If Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw are given license to attack they can pin back their opposition full backs whilst Jude Bellingham would offer the bridge to the frontline that the Three Lions can lack in this system.

Having said that I'm not sure this is the game to stray from the plan. A four man defense with Declan Rice sitting ahead of them gives as many opportunities for England to keep things tight at the back without losing the ball progression of Shaw down the flanks. Bellingham and Jordan Henderson have also made for something of a do it all partnership in midfield, where that third body might make it a little easier for England to dictate the contest in the fortunate event that they get into the lead.

JJ: Given France's ability to hurt teams out wide through Mbappe and Dembele's pace as well as Theo Hernandez pushing forward on the left, three central defenders places major emphasis on the two who would occupy wingback roles. Assuming that Kyle Walker is tasked with shackling Mbappe, that would make his job harder than its initial brief. It also would not really aid the task of dominating the midfield battle with Adrien Rabiot and Aurelien Tchouameni which could be key in this one. Griezmann will drop back to help out when France are not in possession which in turn will lessen their attacking threat.

3. Where will England's goals come from?

JB: Quite possibly anywhere, certainly all of the likely starting front three of Phil Foden, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka have a goal in them. At some stage the latter and Marcus Rashford might regress to their scoring means after netting three goals each from shots worth a solitary expected goal (xG) but both are also playing with the fearlessness that has made them such deadly opponents at their best. As for Kane, the win against Senegal saw him gravitate towards the balance between numbers 10 and 9 that makes him one of the world's best strikers. If he finds that, he can score a couple, or lay on a few.

Then there are the dead balls, a weapon that has gone a little underexploited for England, who sit 18th in the tournament for set piece xG but have giants like Harry Maguire and John Stones to exploit. Obviously the premise of this question was a reminder that England are massively overperforming their xG and that that has to dry up eventually. And it certainly could, they might have plenty of finishers but a few too many of their goals have been from the sort of intricate moves that do not come off more often than they do. That would be the fear but if England can get sights of goal I'd back them to take them.

JJ: Harry Kane is the obvious candidate now that he is off the mark for this World Cup, and it could be that this game is perfect for him given that he will directly be up against a Raphael Varane who is below his 2018 vintage self and relative international newcomer Dayot Upamecano. The service will be provided from out wide given that Hernandez and Jules Kounde are not exactly watertight when it comes to preventing opponents from getting in behind which will be to Kane's liking. The Tottenham Hotspur man and France captain Hugo Lloris know each other well as Spurs teammates with the French skipper having already bailed his defense out a few times in Qatar.

4. Can France's midfield measure up in its toughest test yet?

JJ: Rabiot and Tchouameni have paired very well so far and Griezmann is contributing much more in a central midfield role than expected. Expect the two to compete, but Rabiot might have to put in more of a defensive shift than he has been used to so far this tournament. Also, the more often Griezmann chips in, the less influential he is going forward which will impact Mbappe, Dembele, and Giroud. Deschamps could add an extra body in the middle, but that would be a risky move given that it would be experimental -- not exactly the French tactician's strong suit. Tchouameni vs. Bellingham has the potential to be one of the duels of this World Cup between two of the world's leading positional talents.

JB: As CBS' leading Adrien Rabiot skeptic this tournament has been one almighty eye-opener for me. It turns out that in the right system he is actually an extremely effective ball progressor who can win the ball back with welcome frequency. Antoine Griezmann has also been a welcome surprise as a number 10 who does plenty of work without the ball. Aurelien Tchouameni has been as excellent as advertised. My suspicion, however, is that if there is a player to take the game by the scruff of its neck it might be Bellingham, who can bend his performance to the needs of his team more than almost anyone at this tournament. 

5. Who can be a surprising X-factor for their team?

JJ: Demble has been growing in influence this World Cup and it could be that this sort of game is the one where he delivers his best display yet. His pace and technique could cause the English defense problems given that much of the focus will likely be on Mbappe. The Barcelona man has threatened to make a telling contribution in Qatar and I reckon that this could be his best chance yet.

JB: I suspect this game will not be decided by the time both managers turn to their bench and so it might be that Jack Grealish is the one to turn the tide. He has been used as a closer rather shrewdly by Southgate and if legs and minds are tiring in the closing stages he will be one who is able to draw a foul or find a lane for a through ball with his dribbling.