Kyle Walker is the man England are hoping to stop Mbappe
England are set to face France in the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Saturday (8pm). By betting on Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker to stop Kylian Mbappe, who has shone since the start of the tournament.
With his moving build, broad shoulders and big biceps, he doesn’t necessarily look like a sprinter. But by all accounts, Kyle Walker is one of the fastest players in the Premier League. England’s right wing will certainly have the opportunity to prove it. Gareth Southgate is expected to start him in Saturday’s World Cup 2022 quarter-final against France in Qatar (8pm).
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On the pitch of the Al-Beit Stadium in Al-Khor, some fifty kilometers north of Doha, Kyle Walker will find himself facing Kylian Mbappe and his fiery feet. The Kingdom will be hoping to contain the Blues’ crackdown, having dazzled since his arrival at the Emirates and is the tournament’s top scorer (five). A dangerous mission that seems to be on the ropes of the 32-year-old innkeeper, who can step up in the corridor or help in the central defense.
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“The best right-back in the world”
With his physicality, anticipation and natural pace, the 71-capped international has the right qualities to stop the PSG striker, who has been feared by all of England since their last-16 tie against Poland. Final (3-1). Monday’s Times football supplement headlined “Three right-backs well done to bring in Gareth,” with a photo of Mbappe celebrating the goal talking to Southgate. The head coach of “Three Lions” invited Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) and Kyle Walker to this world championship to be held in the Middle East. But it is the Citizens player who should thrive at the talented Bondi field, deployed on the left wing by Didier Deschamps.
“I think there is the best right-back in the world to go up against Kylian Mbappe,” believes Gary Neville, a former England specialist (85 games) and now a TV consultant. Physically, in terms of speed and experience, I don’t think he’s better than Kyle Walker. That doesn’t mean he’ll keep it quiet for 90 minutes because Mbappe is sensational. But we have a chance because Walker can match him in some areas.”
Described as “fast” as Mbappé
Same impression for Matty Cash. The Polish side were tested against Kylian Mbappe and his dazzling acceleration on Sunday. But the Aston Villa player believes his fellow Briton, who he regularly faces across the Channel, can disrupt the Blues’ No.10. “He is the best right-back in England and has more experience than me,” he told the Daily Mail. If anyone wants to stop Mbappe, Kyle Walker is the man. He’s also fast.”
It remains to be seen how Pep Guardiola’s protégé fares at the Citizens, where he is under contract until 2024. Walker, who has been suffering from a groin injury, has played only eight games for his club this season. Season (in all competitions), including five as a starter. Not in the Champions League. In the first game of the World Cup against Iran (6-2), then on the bench against the USA (0-0), he played about an hour against Wales (3-0) and played the whole game. Against Senegal in the 1/8 finals (3:0). Is it enough to stop Mbappe’s attacks?
The duels in the Champions League stopped
In selection, Kyle and “Kyky” have already met in June 2017 in a friendly match at the Stade de France. The talented 18-year-old Bondi (still in Monaco) stunned the English defense throughout the game and set up Ousmane Dembele for the winning goal (3-2). Walker came on for Ryan Bertrand at half-time. Without being able to stop the new nugget of French football.
Born in May 1990 to a Jamaican father and a British mother, Kyle Walker grew up in the industrial city of Sheffield in North Yorkshire, England. He discovered the round ball there before training under a Blades jersey. He later moved to Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa. “Manchester City” paid 53 million euros to bring him in the summer of 2017 (his value is currently estimated at 15 million euros by the website Transfermarkt). Five and a half years later, he carries the hopes of the nation on his muscular back.
He will adopt a stray cat if there is a coronation in Qatar
After reaching the finals of Euro-2016 (defeat to Iceland in the 8th round), WC-2018 (defeat in the semi-finals to Croatia) and Euro-2021 (1:1 to Italy, 4 d 3), Kyle Walker now dreams of winning in Qatar does.
If so, he has promised to adopt a stray cat (named Dave) that wanders near the Three Lions base camp. Taking care of the tire with his teammate John Stones in town. “If we win the World Cup and we can bring him back, I’ll adopt him,” he said during an appearance on the England team’s daily Lion’s Den show in Qatar. “Me and John, we can take him apart. We’ll put him on the City training ground.” Provided you’ve weathered Hurricane Mbappe first.