Thursday, June 13, 2024

FIFA World Cup: England will be prepared for Kylian Mbappe but he can still deliver, says France coach

France coach Didier Deschamps is well aware that England would have put in hours to come up with plans to stop Kylian Mbappe in what promises to be a blockbuster FIFA World Cup 2022 quarter-finals between the European giants. However, Deschamps is confident that the Paris Saint-Germain superstar will be able to thwart the England plans and deliver for the defending champions on Saturday.

Deschamps, speaking to the press on the eve of the quarter-finals, said Kylian Mbappe has been delivering for France at the World Cup in Qatar despite not having hit his peak form yet.

FIFA World Cup 2022: Full Coverage

England and France are looking well-matched and the quarter-final is expected to be a rip-roaring affair but all the spotlight has been on Mbappe, who can prove to be the difference between the two sides. The 23-year-old has already scored 5 goals in Qatar and it certainly looks like the star forward has more to offer for Deschamps’s men.

Mbappe provided an assist to Olivier Giroud and scored two stunning goals, slotting them into both sides of the top corner in their 3-1 win over Poland in the Round of 16.

Mbappe also broke Pele’s record by becoming the youngest player to score 9 goals in World Cups. With 5 in Qatar, he has already overtaken his tally from Russia where France went all the way. Mbappe also has more World Cup goals at 23 than the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Maradona and is level with Lionel Messi.

“I’m sure England will have prepared to face him but Kylian is in a position to make a difference,” Deschamps said.

“Even in his last match he wasn’t at his best, not in top form but still decisive (scoring twice in a 3-1 win against Poland). We have other players that can be dangerous as well.”

WALKER NOT WORRIED

Notably, England defender Kyle Walker has already spoken about the threat of dealing with Mbappe’s pace on the flanks, saying he will respect the PSG star but not much when the two sides meet on Saturday.

“I do understand what I need to do and that’s obviously to stop him. It’s probably easier said than done, but I don’t underestimate myself. I’ve played him before,” Walker said on Wednesday.

“I have to take extra care and give him the respect he deserves – but not too much respect because he’s also playing England and we can cause them problems.

Walker described the game as “do or die”, adding of Mbappe: “He’s not going to stand in my way of hopefully winning a World Cup for my country.”

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