With injuries to the likes of Karim Benzema, Christopher Nkunku and Paul Pogba, the defending champions will be heavily reliant on the Paris Saint-Germain superstar. Petit believes Mbappe can replicate Zidane's heroic performances from their victorious 1998 FIFA World Cup campaign, which Petit himself was a part of as well.
The Arsenal legend told Compare.Bet:
"Benzema is a huge miss, but the national team has shown that it can win finals without him before. But of course it’s a big loss, because he’s the Ballon d’Or winner and just his presence can get in the opponents heads.
"France has had so much bad news in the past few months on and off the pitch, and i’m thinking 'who’s going to be the next player to get injured?' We’ve already lost four players from the starting 11 in Benzema, Pogba, Kante and Kimpembe and there are others missing from the bench too."
"There are a lot of questions surrounding this team, but now the power is in Mbappe’s hands. If he plays at his peak in the World Cup then France have a great chance to do something great. But if he isn’t at his usual level then we have problems, because we all know France has quality up front, but we have many questions surrounding the midfield and in central defence.
"Varane has been missing for a month, and it could be Saliba, Konate, Upamecano. There’s so many options and Deschamps doesn’t know his best defence. For France to do well, Mbappe needs to be a leader, just like Zidane was in 1998."
Alan Shearer full of praise for Kylian Mbappe after impressive France win at FIFA World Cup
Kylian Mbappe scored and assisted in France's opening game win against Australia on November 22 and Alan Shearer marveled at his fantastic display after full-time. The England legend told BBC Sport:
"Mbappe is so comfortable, he can do almost anything. We keep saying one v one you've virtually got no chance. You have to double up, sometimes even put three on him and that might not be enough. But what that does is frees up other players and that's why they are going to have so much joy whoever they play against because he is that good.
"It all looks fun for him - I know it all comes naturally to him but he looks as if he is really enjoying himself on the pitch. He demands the ball and when he's getting chalk on his boots and giving France that width not many defenders can stop him."
After comprehensively defeating the Aussies 4-1, France will face Denmark on November 26 in their next FIFA World Cup Group D fixture.