World Cup 2022: Boozy England fans HURL BEERS and cover their eyes after France takes early 1-0 lead


England fans have their heads in their hands after France took an early lead in their quarter final tie with the Three Lions, while French fans are jubilant as they hope to hold out to make the semi-final.

Supporters had flocked to pubs across the country and in Qatar to sink millions of pints in what is set to be the biggest booze-up since Covid.

Both sets of fans spoke of confidence in their team’s chances ahead of kick-off, with many believing the victor would win the whole tournament.

But for England fans the first half quickly descended into horror after France scored an early goal and England was denied what looked to be a clear penalty soon after. 

England fans react as France score the first goal of the night to put England behind

England fans react as France score the first goal of the night to put England behind

Supporters had flocked to pubs across the country and in Qatar to sink millions of pints in what is set to be the biggest booze-up since Covid

Supporters had flocked to pubs across the country and in Qatar to sink millions of pints in what is set to be the biggest booze-up since Covid

England fans appeared dejected after France took an early lead - but it's all to play for yet!

England fans appeared dejected after France took an early lead – but it’s all to play for yet!

ARE YOU WATCHING THE GAME WITH YOUR FRIENDS TODAY? Send your pictures to jack.wright@mailonline.co.uk   

Shouts of ‘allez Les Bleus’ from French fans, alongside England chants, could be heard as the atmosphere began to build outside the ground.

The winners of the all-European clash will play Morocco, who became the first African side to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup following their 1-0 win over Portugal. 

For England, fans were cautiously optimistic of their team’s chances, with one fan dubbing the game ‘the night to shine’.

Others went even further and predicted England would break its penalty curse if it comes down to it.

But France’s opening goal in the first half was greeted with devastation by England fans, who were pictured with their hands over their faces in boxparks in London. 

And soon loud boos rang out among fans at Wembley Boxpark after a VAR check denied England a penalty.

Harry Kane appeared to have been tripped in the penalty box, but the referee disagreed, enraging fans across the UK. 

Referee Wilton Sampaio’s controversial decision not to award Harry Kane a penalty led to beers being hurled at the fan zone in Newcastle.

Replays of the seemingly clear foul on Bukayo Saka ahead of France’s opening goal also brought gasps of exasperation from nervous England fans.

The fans were convinced a foul on Harry Kane would lead to a spot kick.

But the referee’s decision was met with loud derision. The opening goal by France had been met with stunned silence.

France fans celebrate after their team scored at the Zoo Bar & Club in London

France fans celebrate after their team scored at the Zoo Bar & Club in London

Some fans were so upset by the opening French goal they were unable to watch

Some fans were so upset by the opening French goal they were unable to watch

An England fan is horrorstruck after France scored their opening goal

An England fan is horrorstruck after France scored their opening goal

England fans react after they go a goal behind at Boxpark Wembley in London

England fans react after they go a goal behind at Boxpark Wembley in London

England supporters looked on anxiously in Croydon as the first half of the quarter-final clash concluded

England supporters looked on anxiously in Croydon as the first half of the quarter-final clash concluded

But the 1500 crowd were back in full voice as England looked to respond and went in search of an equaliser.

But the bad luck for the England skipper was not over as he was shown a yellow card by the referee before the end of the first half. 

Fashion designer Tiffany Stanford said: ‘I think this one is going to penalties but England will win.. The underdogs are doing well at this World Cup and, for me, the women’s team gave the men a real boost by winning the Euros.’

Ben Doveton and George Doveton, 12, from Bedfordshire, were feeling excited and nervous ahead of the game.

George said: ‘I’m a bit nervous because they’re France, the won the last World Cup, they’re not a pushover and it’s going to be a very tough game.’

George said he thinks Jude Bellingham can make the difference, adding on England’s chances if they win: ‘Morocco are a tough team – they beat Spain, Belgium and Portugal, you think they’re an easy side on paper but they’ve got very good unity so I think it’ll be a tough game whoever plays them.’

England fans in London react with fury after a foul against captain Harry Kane was not granted

England fans in London react with fury after a foul against captain Harry Kane was not granted

England supporters in Newcastle show their despair after watching their side fall 1-0 behind

England supporters in Newcastle show their despair after watching their side fall 1-0 behind

Fans in Newcastle appeared emotional throughout much of the first half

Fans in Newcastle appeared emotional throughout much of the first half

Mr Doverton, 56, added: ‘That just shows how important this game is. If we can beat France then we have a shot at Morocco in the semi-final.’

Some 28 million pints will be sunk in drinking holes across Britain today – with another 50 million to be supped at home – as millions watch the battle with the French side at what are set to be the largest public gatherings since before the coronavirus pandemic.

With 30 minutes until kick off fans sang along to It’s Coming Home as excitement at the Wembley Boxpark reached fever pitch.

Huge cheers rang out as the England team was announced – with the loudest cheer when Jude Bellingham’s name was read out.

And in Qatar, hundreds of fans were dashing for last-minute tickets for ‘le crunch’ match as some ticket-holders tried to cash in by demanding £9,000 for seats.

Joe Goulding, 25, a sales manager watching the game at Lunar Springs in central Birmingham, said: ‘This is the big one. If we beat France it is coming home 100 per cent. I have loved the World Cup and seeing the local talent like Jude Bellingham on display.

‘This game is going to be really tough. We have to single out Mbappe but I don’t think there’s a right back in the world that can deal with him but somehow we will overcome.’

A fan kisses a cardboard cutout of England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 quarter final match between England and France

A fan kisses a cardboard cutout of England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 quarter final match between England and France

England supporters in Qatar wear masks of former England stars ahead of the match

England supporters in Qatar wear masks of former England stars ahead of the match

Some fans in stadiums and bars across the world fully committed to their fan costumes

Some fans in stadiums and bars across the world fully committed to their fan costumes

England will hope to set up a semi-final tie with Morocco next week

England will hope to set up a semi-final tie with Morocco next week

Cheering fans begin to flood into the Al Bayt stadium in Qatar ahead of kick-off at 7pm UK time

Cheering fans begin to flood into the Al Bayt stadium in Qatar ahead of kick-off at 7pm UK time

Student pals Ellie, Abi, Charlie, Rosie and Maisie, all 21, were all certain of victory.

Abi, whose family all supports Arsenal, predicted: ‘Bukhayo Saka, my favourite person on this earth will score the winner with an assist from Jude Bellingham.

‘I love this English team and especially Saka. He has come through so much in his life and is an absolute inspiration to young black men who want to get into football.’

Her friend Charlie added: ‘Nothing is going to stop us. We are going to beat France 2-1 then we’ll beat Morocco and take out Croatia in the final.’

Ellie said: ‘I love the World Cup and I like being in the pub. It gets all the business going. I quite like having the World Cup at Christmas. It gives us something to look forward to – the World Cup coming home for Christmas.’

Insurance worker Elizabeth Smith, 25, said: ‘England are scoring four again tonight. I think France will get one because they’ve got Mbappe.

‘I think we have a real chance at this World Cup. I love this England team. I have been watching all their Tic-tocs and would marry any of them. Sakha, Rashford or Kane. They are all such nice young men.’

Lorry driver Adam Reeson, 29, watching the game with his friend, tattoo artist Josh Wilson, also 29, said: ‘Whoever wins this game is going to win the World Cup. That’s how big it is.

‘I know Morocco have had a great tournament but their bubble will burst in the semi-finals.

‘I have enjoyed watching England. I can even say I like Jude Bellingham and coming from a Villa fan that is something.’

England fans cheer as they gathered at the Depot Mayfield, in Manchester, to watch on a giant screen

England fans cheer as they gathered at the Depot Mayfield, in Manchester, to watch on a giant screen

French fans arrive at the Qatar stadium amid shouts of 'Allez les Bleus', the French team's rallying call

French fans arrive at the Qatar stadium amid shouts of ‘Allez les Bleus’, the French team’s rallying call

Fans get ready to watch England versus France at the Boxpark, Croydon, where thousands are expected to gather

Fans get ready to watch England versus France at the Boxpark, Croydon, where thousands are expected to gather

Football fans in Leeds drink pints as they head out to watch the World Cup 'le crunch'

Football fans in Leeds drink pints as they head out to watch the World Cup ‘le crunch’

An England supporter interacts with France fans in Souq Waqif before the FIFA World Cup match at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar

An England supporter interacts with France fans in Souq Waqif before the FIFA World Cup match at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar

Fans in Newcastle celebrated as underdogs Morocco knocked out Portugal – and then cheered as images of an inconsolable Cristiano Ronaldo were shown on giant screens.

The surprise result left some England fans already eyeing up a place the World Cup final.

Railway worker Alex Timpson, 25, from Jarrow, said: ‘If we can beat France, we will beat Morocco. Tonight’s game is the key. If we win, then I think we’ll play Argentina in the final.

‘No disrespect to Morocco but we would have too much for them.’ 

Many England fans believe the winners of their crunch quarter-final clash with France have ‘one hand on the trophy’.

Last night England manager Gareth Southgate said his squad have ‘the qualities needed to win’ and said all they needed to thwart the reigning world champions was ‘belief’.

He praised supporters and promised ‘to give them another night to be proud of’.

But France fans in central London spoke of feeling ‘very confident’ ahead of the quarter-final match against England.

One England fan walking past saw the venue was full of French fans and said: ‘We’re going to batter you.’

One England fan – John Dawes an Amazon driver from Teesside – showed his support for the Three Lions by taking on the ultimate football-related food challenge – consuming 8,000 calories in 15 minutes by stuffing his face with meat-filled pies outside Wembley.

England fans were in confident mood as they gathered in the shadow of Wembley Stadium for the ‘Le crunch’ match against France.

With three hours to kick off hundreds of fans – many dressed in replica Three Lions shirts- eagerly awaited the quarter final match. It was too early for cries of ‘It’s coming home’ but the mood among those at the Wembley Boxpark fan event were in no doubt who would win.

‘I’m very confident we can win this,’ said 26-year-old Jack who wore a 1996 World Cup winning red England shirt.

‘I think we will be too strong for the French. The only problem is Mbappe, but if we can stop him then we’re into the semi-final.’

Friends Reiss and Jack sat at a table covered with an England flag. While Reiss was confident Gareth Southgate’s team would triumph in Doha his friend was not so sure.

‘I support West Ham and we are used to losing and to be honest I can see France winning. I don’t want to be negative, but they have a great team. Of course, I’d prefer us to win.’

Groups of friends join the celebrations across the UK

Fans with large England flags brave the cold in London

Ahead of the match fans brave the bitter winter cold across the UK to roar on the Three Lions

Fans are in good spirits before the game as they head to boozers showing the World Cup match

Fans are in good spirits before the game as they head to boozers showing the World Cup match

England supporters in London enjoy themselves before the World Cup Quarter finals at the Al Bayt stadium in Qatar

England supporters in London enjoy themselves before the World Cup Quarter finals at the Al Bayt stadium in Qatar

Reiss, 25, from Barnet, North London, said he was confident Kyle Walker would be able to contain the French side’s talisman.

‘Kyle has played against him four times in the Champions League and kept him under control.’

England fan Marcus Kelvin, 47, from Leeds, said: ‘I’m thinking 3-1 tonight, the way all the results are going I think this is our game.

She added: ‘I think it’s going to be 2-1, I think they play together as a team, you see them on Instagram and everything, they just gel, they’re enjoying what they’re doing, they’re enjoying it here and the confidence brings hope.’

French fans in England are hoping to spoil the Three Lions’ party as they too flock to pubs and bars ahead of the game. 

A large group of French expats have started gathering at one bar in central London ahead of the World Cup quarter-final clash with England.

The Zoo Bar & Club in Leicester Square was playing French music and was filled with French hopefuls. 

One said: ‘If we win this game, we will go on to win the World Cup.’

England fans in Birmingham getting read to watch the quarter-final match

England fans in Birmingham getting read to watch the quarter-final match

In Newcastle, England fans braved freezing temperatures to start the World Cup party hours ahead of kick-off

In Newcastle, England fans braved freezing temperatures to start the World Cup party hours ahead of kick-off

England captain Harry Kane during the England Training Session at Al Wakrah Stadium

England captain Harry Kane during the England Training Session at Al Wakrah Stadium

Joseph Murray

Ken Milton

England fans Joseph Murray and Ken Milton getting excited for the blockbuster match

England fans in Souq Waqif before the FIFA World Cup Quarter-Final match at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar

England fans in Souq Waqif before the FIFA World Cup Quarter-Final match at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar

Early win for England… as Three Lions fans beat French rivals 7-4 in friendly 

The Three Lions landed the first blow on Saturday as their supporters beat their French counterparts 7-4 in a match at a windswept Doha Sports Park. 

In Doha, the seven-a-side supporters’ game was feisty at times and offered a glimpse of the passion and desire expected when the real thing starts.

France took the lead three times in the 60-minute clash but were pegged back to 3-3 on the stroke of half-time and were overrun in the second half.

England supporters’ team boss Garford Beck said: ‘It’s a great way of bringing fans together and the game had a little bit of an edge to it.’

David Mundo, of the French team, said it was a ‘tough game’ and predicted a France win later.

Mr Beck replied: ‘I wish you a safe journey to Paris on Monday.’

At a neighbouring table Celine Tahar secretly clutched the blue jersey of the French team.

The 30-year-old, from Montpellier, was with her English boyfriend Ed Neal and admitted she had split loyalties. Organisers at the Boxpark had asked her not to wear the blue shirt for fear of what the other fans would say – particularly if England are losing.

Celine, who has lived in London for five years, said: ‘Of course I would like France to win, but I would also like to see the people here experience what we did four years ago and be world champions. We have a very good team, but so do England.’

While her party of four all worse replica England shirts Celine showed her neutrality with a white jumper. Her friend Jodie, 28, added: ‘I am a little nervous as the French are very good, but I just hope that we can score an early goal and go on from there.’

The popular Boxpark venue are expecting a capacity crowd of 1,500 from fans who have paid £20 for a ticket. Many had collected rain ponchos to protect themselves from the shower of beer that follows whenever England score as fans throw their pints in the air.

Alan Armstrong, 27, said he is expecting a Sunday morning hangover as he hopefully celebrates an England victory.

‘I was here for the Euros and it was a cracking atmosphere. If England win the place will go absolutely mental,’ he said. ‘It’s great being among other fans and everyone just wants to see England win.’

In Newcastle boos rang around the city centre fan zone as footage of French star Kylian Mbappe warming up was shown. But the jeers turned to roars when the cameras zoomed in on England captain Harry Kane.

Twenty minutes before kick off fans were dancing on tables, adorned with St George flags, as the pre-match excitement built.

Fans sang in unison to England classic Three Lions (On A Shirt) as air horns blared out.

Apprentice builder Tyler Watson, 20, said: ‘Everyone is up for it. The atmosphere is magic. We all believe tonight that the lads will do something special.

‘We will never have a better opportunity to win a World Cup than this. Tonight is the final in all but name.’

In the city England fans braved freezing temperatures to start the World Cup party hours ahead of kick-off.

Sam Bateman, Adam Fluck, William Aldridge-Bate and Charlie Duffy had to scrape ice off their table in a footie tent erected at The Quayside pub. The Newcastle University students started boozing at 11am – and have their sights set on a big night out.

Sam said: ‘We went out last night and didn’t get in until 5am. Then we started again at 11am. I’m feeling pretty strange right now so God knows what I’ll be like come kick-off. If we win it’s going to be banging. It’ll be the best night ever. I’m going to be spending every penny I’ve got.’

Charlie added: ‘I’ve been out for every England game but I can’t remember any because I’ve drunk too much. The World Cup has not been good for my liver – or my uni work.’

The friends unanimously predicted an England win after extra-time.

Sam added: ‘I’d love to see Jude Bellingham hit the back of the net. And I think Harry Kane will score now that he has a taste for it.’

Pub bosses are praying for England to beat Les Bleus to reach the semi-finals and keep the World Cup dream alive.

Emma McClarkin, British Beer and Pub Association chief executive, estimated six million more pints would be sold today than usual, totally 28million and translating to a £26million boost to the industry.

She said: ‘Pubs need this, as they continue to weather what was already set to be a difficult winter. We’re hoping it will at least provide some short-term uplift to the industry and continue to lift the spirits of the nation.’

Meanwhile those watching from home are expected to sink a further 50million pints, according to analysts.

In Qatar, hundreds of fans were dashing for last-minute tickets for 'le crunch' match ¿ as some tried to cash in by demanding £9,000 for seats

In Qatar, hundreds of fans were dashing for last-minute tickets for ‘le crunch’ match – as some tried to cash in by demanding £9,000 for seats

England fans in Souq Waqif market ahead of the England v France quarter final match

England fans in Souq Waqif market ahead of the England v France quarter final match

French fans get into the spirit of the match at Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar

French fans get into the spirit of the match at Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar

England fans playing Sweet Caroline in Souq Waqif

England fans playing Sweet Caroline in Souq Waqif

England fans in Souq Waqif market ahead of the England v France quarter final

England fans in Souq Waqif market ahead of the England v France quarter final

The two giants of the European game meet at the Al Bayt Stadium, 40 miles north of capital Doha, with Morocco or Portugal awaiting the winner in the semi-finals on December 14.

As anticipation levels reached fever pitch, English and French fans both said they were feeling confident of glory.

They included I’m A Celebrity winner Jill Scott, one of the team of Lionesses who won Euro 2022, who said she was convinced Southgate’s stars would beat the reigning world champions because ‘player for player I think that we’re better than them…100%’.

Miss Scott, 35, told England star Bukayo Saka in a video chat she was ‘so excited’ to be flying out to watch the match.

She will be among what the Football Supporters’ Association estimates to be more than 7,000 England fans, half travelling from Britain and the remaining supporters living locally in the Gulf region.

France’s ambassador to Doha said about 10,000 fans had registered for visas ahead of the tournament.

But there was a scramble for tickets which were sold out at the main salespoint in central Doha. Touts outside were asking for around £1,000 for a ticket originally costing £200. An online resale website, Ticombo, claimed to have 679 tickets available, with some being sold for £2,500 and each came with a hefty booking fee of £750, making the full price for these tickets £3,250 each. The original price was £350.

Another website called Live Football Tickets claimed to have 622 tickets available for the game, with hospitality packages being offered for £7,000 per person plus a £2,000 booking fee.

Gareth Southgate set to name unchanged England team to face France in World Cup quarter-final, snubbing defensive 3-4-3 formation and sticking with Jordan Henderson in midfield, with Marcus Rashford on the bench 

Gareth Southgate is set to name an unchanged team to face France in tonight’s do-or-die World Cup quarter-final.

The England boss is preparing to select the same starting XI that cruised past Senegal 3-0 in the quarter-final, meaning the team are expected to line-up with the 4-3-3 system that they have used in all four matches so far.

Southgate has shown a tendency in the past to use five at the back for matches against elite nations, and given England face the reigning world champions tonight there has been some doubt over which system the team would use.

But the likely decision to use a convention back-four allows England to name an extra attacker, in a move that appears to indicate the team will adopt an forward-thinking approach to the game.

Kyle Walker, whose battle with Kylian Mbappe down France’s left could be key towards the outcome tonight, should start at right back.

He is expected to be joined by Harry Maguire, John Stones and Luke Shaw in defence.

Declan Rice, who has suffered from illness this week, Jordan Henderson and Jude Bellingham are in line to start in central midfield, while Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka are set to support Harry Kane in the forward positions.

Southgate has been criticised in past tournaments for reverting to a back three and so sticking with the same 4-3-3 unit that impressed against Senegal is a sign of how confident the Three Lions boss is in this group.

Among the lucky ones with tickets were England’s supporters Neal Weekes, 57, and Fil Sollof, 57, flying in from London before getting a taxi straight to the game.

Mr Weekes, an auctioneer, from Greenwich, south east London, said: ‘We wouldn’t miss this quarter final match against France for the world. I really think it could now be coming home.’

His friend, a property services owner from Loughton, Essex, added: ‘It’s been pretty tiring but worth it. Let’s hope Harry Kane and the team can play well tomorrow and reach the World Cup final just like they did in Russia back in 2018.’

Andrew Whittaker, 30, who lives in Doha by way of Liverpool, said he had a ‘funny feeling’ of an England win.

The consultant said: ‘I think they will do well against France. It’s the first test. They’ve always played lesser teams and done well and when it’s come to the big game they’ve always fallen a bit short. So hopefully this time around it’s third time lucky.’

Roughly 23 million people are set to watch the prime-time 7pm game on ITV, the biggest TV sport audience since the Euro 2020 final last year. 

Retailer John Lewis said sales of large 60 to 69-inch TVs more than doubled last Monday, compared with the same day a week before. Giant screens showing the big match have been set up at warehouse-size venues in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle, but many are already fully booked.

Extra police are being deployed in London as supporters descend on bars and pubs across the capital, with the Metropolitan Police saying it expects venues to be ‘extremely busy’.

Thousands of England fans began pouring into Doha today for the World Cup match that will bring the country they left behind to a standstill.

Friends James Bayley and Charles Johnson, both 28 and from London, arrived in Qatar on Friday morning and said they were on the same flight as Raheem Sterling.

Chelsea forward Sterling returned to the England squad after missing last Sunday’s last-16 win against Senegal due to concerns over his family’s wellbeing following an incident at his home in Surrey.

Mr Johnson, who works in shipping, predicted a 3-1 England win and said: ‘I think if England start how they did against Senegal, after 30 minutes when Jude (Bellingham) and Hendo (Jordan Henderson) took it on, I think we’ll be all right.’

He added: ‘I think whoever wins it today has got their hand on the trophy, but we’ll see what happens.’

Mr Johnson said it had been a ‘World Cup of upsets’, adding: ‘For once I’m actually confident about England’s chances. We were in Russia last time around and there’s a good feeling about the team.

‘On our plane out here Sterling was on it too with his family so I think that’ll be a big boost to the team.’

Mr Bayley, who works in sports analytics, predicted a 2-1 England win and said: ‘I’m nervous, look at the two games that went to penalties yesterday. It’s going to be tight.’

He added: ‘I’m confident, but I think whoever wins it today you think they’re probably favourites after that.’

Fellow England fan Tom Waddington, 27, from Nottingham, was more cautious about taking up England’s chances.

Tom, a revenue manager for a health care company, said: ‘As much as I want England to win tonight, my head says it will be France. It would be amazing to see England go all the way and we’ll have a good chance if we can keep a clean sheet and get a goal early. ‘

The Manchester United fan added: ‘But no knock-out game at the World Cup has a certain winner or loser because all the teams are good. We have a chance but I think France will be stronger.’

Joseph Murray, 75, revealed that he attended the 1966 World Cup final and that the omens appeared positive for this year’s tournament.

In Wembley hundreds of fans are pictured in santa hats as they wait for kick-off

In Wembley hundreds of fans are pictured in santa hats as they wait for kick-off

Revellers in Leeds dress as Mrs Claus as they wave an England flag ahead of the match

Revellers in Leeds dress as Mrs Claus as they wave an England flag ahead of the match

Fans from various nations in a restaurant in the Souq Waqif

Fans from various nations in a restaurant in the Souq Waqif

England fans Simon and Kevin on the Metro to the ground before the FIFA World Cup match at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar

England fans Simon and Kevin on the Metro to the ground before the FIFA World Cup match at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar

England fans in Souq Waqif before the FIFA World Cup match

England fans in Souq Waqif before the FIFA World Cup match

Southgate: England are ready to ‘NAIL’ France in today’s clash 

Gareth Southgate says England are better prepared for World Cup success than four years ago and ready to ‘nail’ holders France in Saturday’s blockbuster quarter-final.

Southgate’s side went on to finish as European Championship runners-up last year and now they are looking to beat an elite nation in a knockout match on foreign soil for the first time, with another semi-final the reward.

‘The biggest thing for me in the game is going to be our mentality,’ the England manager said. ‘We’ll of course be tactically prepared.

‘But on these nights you’ve got to have men that stand up and take on the challenge. That’s the bit that we’ve got to prove to people.

‘We’ve had some outstanding nights and the next game is always the most important. It’s against a good level of opponent, one we’re ready for. One, if you’d asked me four years ago were we quite ready, I’m not sure.

‘Now I feel differently about that, and that’s because we’ve got evidence over a long period of results.

‘Historically we have always talked well, but the evidence wasn’t there. Now we’ve got more evidence and we’ve got to go and nail this type of game now.’

He believes France are the ‘very best’ in Qatar and staff stepped up preparations with a detailed presentation on their opponents at 9am on Monday – just six hours after getting back from the Senegal match.

He said: ‘Like ’66, this year also ends with the same double digits. This could definitely be England’s year.

‘My memory of 1966 was the nerves in the ground during the last 10 minutes. It feels very special being in Qatar as one of the few England fans who’ve seen them win the World Cup.’

Mr Murray, from Aberdeen revealed that he is half-Scottish and half-English but that he has always followed the England football.

He added: ‘I’ve gave up on Scottish football a long time ago. In 1966 I was a Scotts Guard and somebody gave me a ticket for free. In Doha, my trip has been paid for by my son-in-law who’s a millionaire, which is lucky for me.’

Mr Murray estimated that his visit to Qatar, where he has attended all of England’s matches has cost around £7,000.

He predicted that England would win 2-1.

Ken Milton, 64 from Sussex who has attended all of England’s games, said: ‘ It’s been a fantastic tournament and I’ve tried to do it as cheaply as possible.

‘There are ten of us staying in a villa and it’s costing us £65 each per night, which isn’t bad.’

He beamed: ‘England will 5-0 and although it’s not cheap being here it will be worth it if that’s the final score. I’m convinced that Saka will score a hatrick.’

David Waddington, 56, who lives in Doha but is originally from Bolton said: ‘I’m very confident about tonight’s game but it’s going to be close with one goal in it. England will win 2-1.

‘Qatar has done a great job organising this tournament and Doha is beautifully dressed up. I’m very excited about playing France and then see England get to a World Cup final.’

In Doha, the seven-a-side supporters’ game was feisty at times and offered a glimpse of the passion and desire expected when the real thing starts.

France took the lead three times in the 60-minute clash but were pegged back to 3-3 on the stroke of half-time and were overrun in the second half.

England supporters’ team boss Garford Beck said: ‘It’s a great way of bringing fans together and the game had a little bit of an edge to it.’

David Mundo, of the French team, said it was a ‘tough game’ and predicted a France win later.

Mr Beck replied: ‘I wish you a safe journey to Paris on Monday.’

Mr Mundo said Kylian Mbappe is ‘most likely’ to make the difference for France, telling the PA news agency: ‘Most likely we’ll have to concede a goal or two from you as you’ve been scoring many goals and we’ve been conceding, so my concern is how many goals you’ll score.

‘But I give you one if you want, you be happy, and then we come back and we win.’

Claims and cost consultant Andrew Whittaker, 30, who lives in Doha by way of Liverpool, said: ‘I’m hoping it should be 1-0 England – as long as we keep Mbappe quiet we’ll be all right.

‘I’ve got a feeling Harry Kane is going to score.

‘If we win tonight – which is probably the biggest challenge – it’ll probably be an England-Argentina final, and hopefully we’ll go that one step further this time and bring it home.’

France fans in Souq Waqif before the FIFA World Cup match

France fans in Souq Waqif before the FIFA World Cup match

Revellers in Leeds head out to pubs to watch the England match against France

Revellers in Leeds head out to pubs to watch the England match against France

England will be ready if it goes to penalties, sports psychologist claims

Football psychologist Lee Chambers insists the Three Lions won’t be scared by spot kicks should tonight’s quarter-final go all the way – despite the national side’s patchy record.

Rather than being weighed down, Lee says England’s fun-loving squad will have been trained to handle anything thrown at them.

Lee, who worked as a psychologist for Man City and Everton, said: ‘It’s not something you’d have said with much confidence in recent years but I’m backing England to triumph if the game goes to penalties.

‘Gareth will have done significant work turning the threat of penalties into a challenge.

‘Each player will have had a specific routine created just for them to get them into the optimal state.

‘These routines are powerful and will cover everything from slowing breathing to preparing for antics from the goalkeeper.

‘Each player will have a bespoke plan and will rehearse carrying out the moment they step up from the halfway line.

‘England’s psychologists will have also done specific work on not ignoring the fear, but anchoring into the plan.

‘The players will have been practicing this regularly, making it much easier to switch it on at the moment they need it.’

Chef Mark Trigg, 48, from Derby, said he had the ‘typical match day nerves’ but fancied England to win.

He said: ‘I think we can get a 2-1 tonight. It’ll be a bit tighter, we have scored a good few goals on the way through, I don’t see so many goals tonight.’

Mr Trigg added he will be wearing his lucky England suit which his mother helped make, explaining: ‘It’s a red hat, matching shirt, matching shorts, and it’s been getting noticed all over Qatar.’

Asked if he believes the winner of the tie will win the competition, Mr Trigg said: ‘Yeah, I’ve been saying that – I think there’s two good sides out there. Brazil are out which opens it a little more.’

James Swann, 28, from Barnsley, said France are a ‘good side’ and have a front four ‘as good as anybody in world football’.

But Mr Swann, who works in property and construction, said: ‘I don’t think they’re that much better than us, they must be scared of our front three as well.’

Brothers Josh and Matty Smith said they have enjoyed the ‘buzz’ during their trip to Qatar and hoped England boss Gareth Southgate opts for a positive approach.

Welder Matty, 24, who lives in Peterborough, said: ‘Hopefully we can get a good win – only trouble is they’ve got Mbappe, I think Kyle Walker will do a good job on him, but they’ve also got (Antoine) Griezmann.

‘If we worry too much about Mbappe, you miss half the other team and they’ve got some good players.’

Josh, 26, from Chester, who works in finance, said: ‘Hopefully he goes 4-3-3 and keeps it attacking, keeps the formation, doesn’t worry too much about defending.

‘If we start worrying about defending that’s when we’ll see cracks.

‘I do think the winner of tonight will win the tournament… and I do believe it’s coming home. I think we’ll win 2-1 in 90 minutes.’

France fan Babacar Sall, from Massy, in France, said he expects a ‘tough game as England are a really great team’ but insisted France also have a ‘great, great team’ despite injuries.

He said the key to the game might be the midfield, adding: ‘In the end there is Mbappe, Griezmann, who can do the job any time, and there’s (Olivier) Giroud.’

On his prediction, he said: ‘It’s a tough one but I say 3-1 France.

‘The winner of tonight might be the favourite to win the World Cup even if Argentina are on the other side against Croatia.’

ARE YOU WATCHING THE GAME WITH YOUR FRIENDS TODAY? Send your pictures to jack.wright@mailonline.co.uk  



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