Cabaye is aware of the qualities of Liverpool captain Gerrard after playing against him during his successful campaign with Newcastle last season.
He knows Laurent Blanc's resurgent side will have a better chance of triumphing if they can stop Gerrard making an impact.
"Who do we fear most? Steven Gerrard is a very important player, very powerful and an inspirational player, a leader," Cabaye said.
"He is the soul of this team, the captain, and will be like a king in this game.
"He can be very aggressive going forward but defensively he is also important. It is important to try and nullify him. But England have some good young players and I've also been impressed by Danny Welbeck."
Cabaye has also urged France to take advantage of the absence of key striker Wayne Rooney through suspension.
Rooney will also be absent from England's second match against Sweden after his red card in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.
"Rooney is a player of great quality and will be a great miss for them. It is significant for us as well as for England that he will not be there on Monday," he said.
Cabaye is refusing to make any rash predictions about his side's chances despite France being unbeaten in their last 21 internationals.
But he concedes there is a united feeling surrounding the squad after the unrest at the 2010 World Cup.
"There is a good feeling amongst the squad to play for each other and for the whole country.
"We are ready for the battle. It was difficult to move on after the World Cup but there is a very good spirit here.
"But the English team is very strong and we can't tell for sure what will be the outcome of this match.
"Some people say we are favourites but the English team, even with their injuries recently, is very strong and Ukraine will be as well at home.
"But we will try to win with our style of play. Personally I am ready for the battle and a good result on Monday will help to build confidence."
French striker Karim Benzema said: "We are ready for this match and it is very important to get off to a good start.
"We are prepared for this game and I am thinking a lot about this match all day long.
"I understand the pressure on this game but it is normal and all the French team are ready," he added.
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