The big decision that the Three Lions simply cannot afford to get wrong is whether to go with a four or five man defense against kylian mbappe and the defending champions.
While France hasn’t been as dynamic as it was four years ago in Russia, the Paris Saint-Germain striker is taking the biggest stage yet again to top the World Cup goalscoring charts.
Southgate can counter Mbappé threat bringing back Kieran Trippier for a 5-2-3 formation, seen regularly in recent tournaments in England. That would mean switching Kyle Walker inside to mark the Frenchman.
Who would drop out in such a scenario is not an easy decision, given that Jordan Henderson has been in top form since coming off the bench against the USA. Declan Rice is expected to play despite missing training earlier in the week, due to illness.
The forward three are not expected to switch from a 3-0 thrashing of Senegal, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka holding on to their places to keep Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish available as Southgate options off the bench.
Nevertheless, Raheem Sterling is now ready to be available, with the Chelsea striker returning to camp on Friday having returned home to check on the well-being of his family following a burglary at their home. A place on the bench seems more likely at this stage.
Ben White will continue to be absent for a personal matter. The Three Lions have no suspensions or injury concerns ahead of the quarterfinals, although Callum Wilson did not train with a minor issue.
France are expected to have Mbappé fit to play after he trained as usual on Wednesday night, having been out of the squad session the day before.