GRAEME SOUNESS joked he cannot go back home to Scotland for Christmas after heaping praise on England’s World Cup chances.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions face the reigning 2018 champions this evening in the quarter-finals in Qatar.


England play France in the World Cup quarter-finalsCredit: Getty

And Souness backs England as the favourites to go all the way if they win – no matter how much it pains the Scot to say.

He said on ITV: “If I was managing any of the teams today, this is the last team I’d want to play.

“And I think if they can get past France, I would make them favourites from what I’ve seen and who’s left in the tournament.

“And that’s hard for a Scotsman to say, trust me. That means I can’t go back to Scotland for Christmas now.”

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England crashed out in the semis four years ago in Russia, suffering heartbreak at the hands of Croatia, who are through to this year’s final four.

And they went one better in the Euros last summer only for more pain, this time on penalties against Italy.

But Southgate’s side prepare to take on the current holders with more experience than ever.

And Souness agrees that victory over France would be the nation’s greatest ever win on away soil.

He said: “I would say so.

“You’re playing the current world champions in a World Cup, everyone’s talking about Mbappe, Demeble, Griezmann.

“This is regarded as a very, very good French team but England are very good.”

Graeme Souness joked he can't go home to Scotland for Christmas after heaping praise on England


Graeme Souness joked he can’t go home to Scotland for Christmas after heaping praise on England