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Maddison backs Kyle Walker to put Kylian Mbappe in check

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By Martin Graham | 6th Dec 2022

James Maddison has thrown his weight behind Kyle Walker in what should be a battle between the right-back and Kylian Mbappe. England will battle France in the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Saturday.

Slowly the World Cup is taking shape. The men have been separated from the boys as the quarter-finals loom. There are several tasty ties in the offing, and the fans must be salivating at the thought of the big games on the cards. The group stage saw plenty of shocks and upsets, but the top contenders have now put the minnows in their place.

Teams to have scaled the hurdle of the round of 16 include Argentina, the Netherlands, Brazil, Croatia, France and England. They are the topped ranked teams and the bookies’ favourite to win the World Cup. The picture is getting more open by the day, and bets are becoming safer.

The quarter-final will see the Netherlands take on old foes Argentina while Brazil locks horns with Croatia. The winner between Portugal and Switzerland will take on either Spain or Morocco. The juiciest quarter-final tie has to be between France and England. Les Bleus are no strangers to the Three Lions, and Kyle Walker understands he has a massive assignment on his hands.

Kyle Walker up against Kylian Mbappe

The round of 16 ties have thrown up a delicious match between France and England. The defending champions will look to overcome a familiar foe with all focus on arguably the best player on the planet Kylian Mbappe. All eyes are on this match, with many people wondering how Kyle Walker would fare against Mbappe.

Leicester City star James Maddison has thrown his weight behind Walker to a job on PSG forward Kylian Mbappe as the two sides go head-to-head on Saturday. Gareth Southgate must be scratching his head as he seeks a solution to keeping Mbappe quiet. The assignment is pertinent to their progress in the tournament.

Kylian Mbappe was named young player of the tournament in Russia four years ago but is already proving his mettle in Qatar. The young buckling has matured. He has scored five goals in Qatar, making him the top scorer. Despite his achievements, Maddison believes Walker can keep him in check.

Confidence in Walker’s abilities

In the last ten games between Les Bleus and the Three Lions, stretching back to the Euro Championships in 1992, England have managed just two wins, both coming in an international friendly. The last time England secured a win over France in a competitive game was in the 1982 World Cup.

With the size of the problem before them, Maddison believes he is up to the task. The Manchester City right-back told talkSPORT Mbappe is a fantastic player, but he is sure England will prepare right to stop him.

Walker started as a right-back against Senegal, and Maddison praised his performance in the game. He claims if anyone can stop Mbappe, then it is Walker.

While the focus remains on Mbappe, England should be aware of other threats in the Les Bleus setup. Players like Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Kingsley Coman and Marcus Thuram are existential threats.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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