Jamie Carragher makes prediction for England vs France World Cup quarter final | Football
Former England defender Jamie Carragher fears England’s World Cup adventure will end on Saturday when Gareth Southgate’s side take on defending champions France.
The Three Lions have cruised through to the last eight having topped their group, despite a goalless stalemate against USA, before brushing aside AFCON winners Senegal last Sunday.
England are the top scorers in the competition so far and with Harry Kane back amongst the goals, they will take on Les Bleus in justifiably confident mood.
Didier Deschamps’ well oiled machine will represent by some distance England’s sternest test to date, however, and in Kylian Mbappe they boast arguably the best player in world football at present.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward has been in tremendous form already in Qatar and leads the race for the coveted Golden Boot with five goals from four games already.
Mbappe returned to training last night having missed Tuesday’s suggestion, allaying fears he was nursing an injury heading into Saturday’s heavyweight showdown.
Carragher has been impressed by the way England have plotted their course to the business end of the tournament, but fears Mbappe’s presence tilts the odds firmly in France’s favour.
He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘Is my heart or head ruling? ‘I’m going to go with France, who just have the edge on England. It’s all down to Kylian Mbappe. Without him, England would be favourites.’
Manchester City’s Kyle Walker is the man likely to be tasked with stifling Mbappe and the experienced full-back insists his opponent won’t have it all his own way.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, he told reporters: ‘Obviously it’s always going to help because I’ve played against him a few times.
‘But he’s a great player in great form so it’s not going to be an easy task. But as a professional you want to play against the best players and he is one of the best players in the world.
‘Of course I understand the focus and I understand what I need to do to stop him. It’s easier said than done but I don’t underestimate myself.
‘I’ve come up against some of the best players in the world but I have to treat it just as another game. You have to give him respect but not too much.’
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