England vs France: Sven-Goran Eriksson claims Gareth Southgate has Kylian Mbappe masterplan | Football

Kylian Mbappe is France’s standout threat (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)

Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson believes Gareth Southgate has a trick up his sleeve to keep France star Kylian Mbappe quiet.

The Three Lions take on the reigning World Cup champions in the quarter-finals on Saturday, with Didier Deschamps’ side the favourites to progress.

That’s largely down to the presence of Mbappe, who has lit up the tournament for the second time in a row.

The Paris Saint-Germain star scored twice in a 3-1 win against Poland in the last-16 and England have a job on their hands if they’re to keep the 23-year-old quiet.

Kieran Trippier started England’s first two matches in a back four, before Kyle Walker started against Wales and Senegal.

Walker has the pace to match Mbappe but even still, England are likely to seek more protection by reverting to a back three.

And Eriksson, who managed England for five years, says Southgate will play Walker in a back three behind Trippier to deal with Mbappe.

Mbappe scored twice against Poland (Credits: Dave Shopland/Shutterstock)

‘It will be very interesting to see what Gareth Southgate does to stop Mbappe,’ Eriksson told Boyle Sports.

‘France is not only Mbappe but he’s definitely their biggest threat. He can do something out of nothing. His dribbling is fantastic but he can also finish incredibly well and I wouldn’t be surprised if England start with five defenders.

‘I think Southgate will play Trippier as the right wing-back and Kyle Walker will move to right centre-back.

‘They will need two players to track Mbappe but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was still a massive danger. His two goals against Poland were incredible. He more or less thundered it into the net standing still!

‘I don’t think you can play Rice and Phillips as well as a back five against France, that’s just too defensive.

‘If you can avoid a lot of crosses you will have done a good job.

‘It’s also important that Gareth Southgate doesn’t forget his own style as well.

‘When England defend deep and counter attack they can hurt their defenders.’


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