World Cup: Daily predictions – Mbappe and Kane to show Sunday best

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The second day of knockout action at the World Cup sees France and England continue their quests for glory.

Les Bleus meet a Poland side that scraped through the group phase while England can expect a tough test against Senegal.

Both teams will be hoping their star men come to the fore. Kylian Mbappe has been a shining light for France in Qatar while Harry Kane has not yet top form.

However, with so much at stake, expect the cream to the rise to the top.

Harnessing Opta data, Stats Perform identifies some key predictions ahead of Sunday's action.


All times local

France v Poland - Al Thumama Stadium

France will welcome back their big guns after a second string produced an abysmal display in losing to Tunisia on Wednesday. Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann came on in the second half and almost conjured up a last-gasp equaliser only for VAR to controversially intervene.

Mbappe, Griezmann, as well as the likes of Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele, will return against a Poland side that scraped their way into the round of 16.

Les Bleus are defending champions and pose a formidable test for Robert Lewandowski and company.

France have won 12 of their last 15 knockout stage matches at the World Cup, with half of those wins involving at least a two-goal margin.

They may have to be patient, though. Poland are yet to concede in the first half of a game at this World Cup, while each of France’s last two matches have been goalless at half-time.

Poland may adopt a physical approach to try to throw France off their game. If so, bank on Grzegorz Krychowiak to receive a booking. Krychowiak has been shown four yellow cards for Poland in 2022, twice as many as any team-mate. He has averaged two fouls per game across his last eight international appearances.

France, in contrast, have been shown just one yellow card at this World Cup, while committing only 15 fouls in total.

Player Prediction - Mbappe, three plus shots on target: Mbappe has registered 34 shots on target across his last 11 starts for France, at an average of 3.1 per game.

Best Bet - France to win and both teams to score: France ought to have enough to win with ease, but Poland will be encouraged by the fact Didier Deschamps' side have only kept one clean sheet across their last 13 games held outside of France.


England v Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium

England have looked superb at times – thrashing Iran 6-2 and Wales 3-0 – but, in between, produced a turgid performance in drawing 0-0 with the United States.

History is on their side, though, having never lost against an African side in their history (W14 D6). England are also notoriously stingy at this level – five of their last six wins in the knockout stages of the World Cup have come with a clean sheet.

Marcus Rashford is likely to keep his place in the starting XI having netted twice against the Welsh. Rashford has scored six goals in his last six starts for England, having more than two shots on target in four of those games.

Senegal's best chance seems to be to score first. They have opened the scoring in each of their last two World Cup games and have never lost a match at the tournament when scoring first.

Player prediction - Harry Kane to score a penalty in normal/extra time: The England captain has his critics, but he remains one of Gareth Southgate's 'untouchables'. He is also deadly from the penalty spot. Four of Kane’s last five goals for the national side have come via that route, including each of his last three.

Best Bet - Senegal not to keep a clean sheet: England will fancy their chances of scoring. Since beating France 1-0 in their first ever World Cup match in 2002, Senegal have conceded at least once in each of their 10 games in the competition.