England fans have expressed their concern ahead of Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final clash against France after a number of training ground pictures re-emerged online.
In the build-up to this weekend’s highly-anticipated clash in Al Khor, one of the main talking points has been whether Kyle Walker can deal with the pace and skill of Kylian Mbappe at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Ibrahima Konate, who has played in three World Cup games this winter, is looking forward to seeing the battle take place. “Walker and Mbappe are two very great players,” he said. “Walker is one of the best right-backs in the world, I can’t wait to see this battle.”
England’s ability to deal with the French forward will likely play a deciding factor, but Walker says he won’t “roll out a red carpet” for the Paris Saint-Germain forward.
“I understand what I need to do and that is to stop him,” Walker said. “It’s easier said than done but I don’t underestimate myself.
“He is a fantastic player in great form. It is not going to be an easy task, but as a professional footballer you want to play against the best and I think he is one of the best, if not the best, in the world at the moment.”
And ahead of this weekend’s clash, posts from Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips’ Instagram story have re-emerged, with both of them saying they beat Kyle Walker in a race.
As you can see in the images above and below, Manchester City teammate Grealish posted a picture of him celebrating in training alongside the caption: “When you beat @kylewalker2 not once but twice in a race.”
A few hours later and another City teammate, Kalvin Phillips, got involved in the action. “Beat him, @kylewalker2.”
England supporters have come out and expressed their concern as Kyle Walker prepares to come up against one of the fastest players in world football.
One said: “It’s not looking good brev,” while another commented: “Grealish and Phillips have both been Walker in a race in the space of a week and he’s our only hope against Mbappe.”
A third simply wrote: “It’s over.”
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris says Mbappe is not listening to the noise surrounding this weekend’s fixture.
“He is focused on his objectives and seems very happy, as he has since the tournament began,” he said. “He is preparing very well and he is ignoring the talk about him.
Didier Deschamps, meanwhile, knows he has a game-changer in the pacey forward.
“England will have prepared for Kylian, but he is in a position to make the difference. Even in his last match he wasn’t at his best, not in top form, but he was still decisive.
“We have other players, but Kylian is Kylian and he always will be.”
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