Kyle Walker has been backed by England teammate James Maddison to handle Kylian Mbappe in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final clash.
The Three Lions have the daunting task of trying to stop the Paris Saint-Germain forward, who is the top scorer in Qatar with five goals.
Incredibly, the 23-year-old already has more World Cup goals [nine] than Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and Thierry Henry in what’s just his second crack at the tournament.
Deployed on the left wing for France instead of leading the line like he does for Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappe has had right-backs on toast.
Just ask Aston Villa’s Matty Cash, who declared his legs were ‘burned’ after Mbappe scored twice in France’s 3-1 Round of 16 win over Poland.
He even managed to bamboozle Denmark’s Rasmus Kristensen where he sent him spinning to the floor with the ball not even in his possession.
England icon Stuart Pearce believes Walker will need to ‘have the game of his life’ to nullify the threat of Mbappe.
But despite Mbappe’s stunning form, Leicester playmaker Maddison is confident Walker can mark the maestro out of the crunch clash at the weekend.
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Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT’s Hugh Woozencroft, Maddison said of the PSG attacker: “He’s a fantastic player, one of the best in the world.
“I’m sure we’ll prepare right to try and stop him. Kyle Walker started right-back in the game against Senegal.
“He’s one of the best full-backs in the world, I think if anyone can do a job, I think it’s him.
“But listen, France have a lot of threats, it’s not just Kylian Mbappe.
“They’re a brilliant team and that’s why they are reigning champions, we’ve got a lot to be wary of.
“But the tactical work that we do, and the staff here, the work that goes in on the background that people don’t see will leave us in good stead hopefully, and hopefully we can progress.”
Maddison also commented on the fantastic mood in camp as they prepare for their quarter-final meeting with Les Blues.
Reflecting on the 3-0 win over Senegal, he remarked: “Everyone is buzzing and rightly so.
“What a positive performance, what a brilliant night for the nation – everyone back home and everyone here.
“The atmosphere is brilliant at the minute and rightly so.”
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