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'Will not roll red carpet for Mbappe', says England's Kyle Walker ahead of WC clash with France

WION Web Team
DohaUpdated: Dec 07, 2022, 09:45 PM IST
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Kyle Walker versus Kylian Mbappe is being anticipated as one of the most intriguing part of the England-France quarterfinal clash  Photograph:(WION Web Team)

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England and France square up against each other on Saturday in the knockout game. However, the focus since the fixture was decided has been on the right-side battle between Walker and Mbappe

England fullback Kyle Walker has fired the first shots as his potential clash with France forward Kylian Mbappe in the quarterfinal continues to grab headlines. Walker said England will not be obsessing over Mbappe and that he shouldn't expect any red carpets. 

"This game isn't England v Mbappe, it's England vs France. We will give respect but I'm not going to roll out a red carpet for him to score. It's do or die as if we lose we go home," said the English defender. 

England and France square up against each other on Saturday in the knockout game. However, the focus since the fixture was decided has been on the right-side battle between Walker and Mbappe. 

The Manchester City player said it was a team game and that England's focus will be on other important French players as well. 

"I know he's a top player but we're not playing tennis. It's not a solo sport, it's a team game," said the 32-year-old defender.

"We know he's a great player and that's why he's the focus of all questions. But let's not forget (Olivier) Giroud, who has scored countless (goals), (Ousmane) Dembele, for me just as good on the other wing."

Mbappe has netted five goals in the tournament so far and his pace and creative vision on the pitch have troubled right wingbacks whenever they have come across the 23-year-old.

Experts and fans believe that if England are to win the contest, Walker will have to play the game of his life and stop Mbappe in the tracks. 

"I do understand what I need to do and that's to stop him. It's probably easier said than done but I don't underestimate myself. I've come across great players before so I will just treat it like another game."

Mbappe and Walker previously locked horns against each other while playing for their club sides in the 2021-22 Champions League group stage.

Over the two group encounters, Mbappe managed to find the back of the net once while Walker, for large periods, managed to hold his own. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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