England’s ‘collective strength’ will see them beat France despite the threat of Kylian Mbappe, talkSPORT has been told.
French journalist Julien Laurens – along with his French flag – joined talkSPORT Breakfast the morning after Les Bleus and the Three Lions both advanced to the quarters in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
England ended up comfortably beating Senegal 3-0 in the Round of 16, and will now face the 2018 World Cup winners – who sealed qualification with a 3-1 win over Poland.
Despite being full of praise for his country after their win over Poland in the first knockout game, though, Laurens explained he thinks England are the stronger team heading into Saturday’s tasty clash.
And he believes it’s because his country are too reliant on Kylian Mbappe.
“I was just saying collectively the French side is very good and Kylian is clearly the best player in the world right now, but this French team is very dependent on him.
“We don’t know what happens if he’s having a bad day or if Kyle Walker defends very well.”
Mbappe stole the show in the win against Poland, with the 23-year-old scoring two outrageous strikes and setting up Olivier Giroud’s record breaking goal.
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But whilst Mbappe will be Les Bleus’ main threat against England, Laurens thinks the Three Lions have the advantage of offering multiple deadly, attacking players, rather than one.
England’s three goals on Sunday came from three different players, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka, and Laurens thinks this demonstrates the stronger threat Gareth Southgate’s side carry.
He also thinks Les Bleus won’t mind not being the favourites, either.
“I think England right now are stronger collectively as a team,” he said. “The danger can come from the right with Saka, on the left with [Phil] Foden, with [Jude] Bellingham, with Kane.
“Right now we don’t have that. [Ousmane] Dembele who I really like is good and [Adrien] Rabiot has been doing well, but the strength is different.
“To be slightly fair, the French are very happy with that by the way. As it’s a burden to carry to be favourites going into a game like this.”
England and France will go head-to-head to battle it out for a spot in the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup on Saturday at 7pm, which you can listen to live on talkSPORT.
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