"If anyone can do a job, I think it's him" - England's James Maddison backs teammate to nullify Kylian Mbappe's threat in 2022 FIFA World Cup QF
England midfielder James Maddison has backed star right-back Kyle Walker to negate France superstar Kylian Mbappe's threat in their upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal this weeekend.
The Three Lions progressed to the last eight with a resounding 3-0 win over Senegal on Sunday (December 4), while the holders beat Poland 3-1 on the same day.
Walker, 32, has the challenging task of stopping Mbappe, who is the top-scorer in Qatar with five goals in four games. The Manchester City defender has started two games in the tournament, helping his team keep back-to-back clean sheets.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Maddison showered praise on Mbappe but backed Walker to outshine the French striker. He said:
"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."
Sharing his thoughts on the upcoming contest, Maddison added:
"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, the work that goes in on the background will leave us in good stead hopefully, and hopefully we can progress."
Maddison, who is yet to feature for the Three Lions at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, shed light on the fabulous mood in camp. He said:
"Everyone is buzzing. 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."
England will take on defending champions France at the Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday (December 10). This will be their first meeting, third overall, with Les Bleus at the quadrennial tournament since 1982, which they won 3-1.
England attacker misses training ahead of 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal
According to The Times journalist Henry Winter, England striker Callum Wilson was absent from his team's training session on Monday due to a slight knock. He was rested as a precautionary measure.
Wilson, 30, was handed a call-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup squad due to his fine form for Newcastle United this campaign. He has registered six goals and two assists in 11 games for the Magpies.
For England, he has laid out one assist in 47 minutes of action spread across two substitute FIFA World Cup appearances in Qatar.