Skipper Harry Kane, Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham and Marcus Rashford were among those being put through their paces during training in temperatures of 26C on Friday.
Former Lionesses’ hero Jill Scott, 35, fresh from her win on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, said it was France who should be scared. In a video message to the team before flying out to the Gulf, she told them: “I’m so excited. I’m coming over as a massive England fan. We are definitely gaining momentum. Player for player, I believe we are better than them, 100 per cent.”
Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “Saturday is going to be a titanic clash, and I can’t wait to watch Gareth, Harry and all the England boys as they once again rise to the challenge. It’s going to be a fantastic game with the whole country right behind the team — here’s to another Three Lions victory tomorrow!”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “It’s always going to be a tough game against France. Mbappé is on excellent form and they’ve performed well in the tournament so far. But I back England to hold their own. This squad have something special... we’ve seen flashes of real brilliance in the group stages. I’ve got everything crossed for Saturday night. Come on England!”
Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, 51, told the Standard: “What a fantastic young team we have. They’ve proved themselves utterly spellbinding and brilliant. I think they stand a really good chance on Saturday and I will be watching and cheering.“
The One and Only singer Chesney Hawkes, 51, adopted as a lucky charm when England beat Wales 3-0, said: “I’ve seen first-hand the incredible spirit, unity, love and togetherness in the camp... they will get the job done.”
Chelsea star Karen Carney, 35, the ex-Lioness and now an ITV World Cup pundit, said: “Good luck Gareth and the team, you can do it.
“Everyone is talking about how strong France are, but don’t forget the strengths and qualities we possess, which France will be afraid of. I hope on Saturday we put our best foot forward, play confidently and play our way.”
Bobby Moore’s widow also backed the Three Lions to beat France and go on to win the World Cup.
Stephanie Moore OBE said her late husband, captain of the 1966 World Cup England winners, would be “proud” of Southgate’s side, adding: “They’re a young, vibrant team. We’re all on tenterhooks aren’t we for Saturday?
“Football was his life, his passion and then somewhere down the line there was me.”
French-born First Dates star Fred Sirieix, 50, whose teenage daughter Andrea is a Team GB diving champion, didn’t have divided loyalties, enthusing: “Allez Les Bleus!”
At the B12 Beach Club in Doha, Nicole Haddon, 22, of Clapham, said: “We’ve got to take our hats off to England — they’re more than capable of bringing home the World Cup. I’m looking forward to the battle between Walker and Mbappé, who needs to be man-marked to within an inch of his life.”
Lucy Harrison, 22, studying a master’s degree in international development at Manchester University, added: “The Three Lions will win with style. We’re best going forward and attacking. England don’t just rely on Kane, goals are coming from everywhere.”
Teacher Laila Freckleton, 21, of Islington, cheered: “There’s something really special about this team.”
While DJ Feeona Selman, 25, from Covent Garden, adds: “England have been superb. I’m impressed and quietly confident.”
Cardiac physiologist Paul Evans, 30, of Liverpool, joked: “Mbappé has pace but Walker can deal with him.
“But if that’s all the French have, we just have to keep him quiet. The rest of the squad run like they are nearing the end of their careers.
“I’d like to think France are looking at us wondering who we are going to play, rather us scared of them.”
Across Britain, 22 million people are expected to watch the game on ITV1, with another 3.1 million in pubs and bars. And London football fans will lay out £42 million on food, drink and sportswear for home parties, according to data from VoucherCodes.co.uk.
A further £29 million could be splurged in the capital’s hospitality venues starting tonight when Brazil take on Croatia and Argentina play the Netherlands.
Landlords in London hope to sell an extra 1.1 million pints. Publican Carl McCluskey, 35, said turnover at Chancellors in Hammersmith was up 400 per cent, adding: “It’s gone World Cup crazy. You can’t move inside the pub.”