France appear to be in a state of disarray following last weekend's defeat to Tonga, with coach Marc Lievremont openly criticising his players and vice versa.
Comparisons have been drawn between Lievremont's squad and the French football team, who went on strike at the 2010 World Cup after Nicolas Anelka was sent home.
But Foden believes that internal conflict will only serve to make Les Bleus more dangerous - and England must be ready to meet that ferocity head on or they will be on the first flight home.
"It's the massive danger zone," said Foden, who started all four of England's World Cup group-stage victories.
"France are going to be like a wounded animal. People expect them not to perform that well but that is when they are at their most dangerous.
"They've got players who are capable of causing carnage out there. They are a great team who can turn it on.
"It's important we take it to them, really start the game with a bang and score some points in the first 20 minutes and let them know they are in a tough battle.
"It's got to be our mentality to take the game to them - people think they are in a fragile state but if we give them early points and a lifeline they'll definitely take it.
"If we are going to believe we are going to go on and win a World Cup we really need to step up a level.
We've got a massive game and we go home if we don't get the right result.
"If you want to beat the big guns you really have to perform."
Their 10-try duck-shoot against Romania aside, England have failed to do that on a consistent basis so far this World Cup. Their good work has so often been undermined by poor discipline.
England were forced to come from behind against both Argentina and Scotland but eventually found a way to win both games, with late tries from Ben Youngs and Chris Ashton respectively.
They boast the best defensive record in the competition, having conceded only one try in four group-stage victories, and Foden believes those experiences will stand England in good stead in the knockout stages.
"People will look at it and say 'they need the wake-up call' but it shows good character that we can win those games," Foden said.
"Only a few teams have been tested that way in this tournament. That's what knockout rugby is all about.
"In terms of what's at stake and the pressure, it's just increased massively but I think everyone's just going to revel in and look forward to the challenge it brings.
"In World Cup rugby no team's ever lost in the group stage and gone on to win it so we are in the right place at the moment.
"Hopefully we'll take that winning mentality through with us."
Foden has been frustrated for long spells during this World Cup as England have struggled to move the ball wide to exploit the pace available in the back three.
Ashton, still the leading try-scorer in the competition, sealed England's victory over Scotland last Saturday with just his third touch of the game. The first two he had to kick.
Foden would relish the chance to run at France and match fire with fire, although that would need a radical shift in emphasis.
"We are capable of winning games by using different weapons. I think we are at our best when we play a wide game but sometimes we haven't had the ball as much as we'd like," said Foden.
"As a back-three player I want to see the ball going wide and get in the hands of Ash and Cueto as often as possible to cause damage.
"In international rugby everything gets tighter, the margin for error is smaller, defences get better and you have to break down teams in different ways.
"It's a bit frustrating at times but if we keep winning 14-10 and manage to win the World Cup doing that then I'll be happy as Larry at the end."
Foden and his fellow backs are arguably more likely to be brought into the game with Toby Flood at fly-half but England are set to opt once again for the more controlling presence of Jonny Wilkinson.
Mike Tindall trained on Wednesday, indicating he is recovering enough from a dead leg to be considered for selection at inside centre.
Johnson will announce his side at 1.30am BST.
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