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K. Mbappé

Mbappe a 'different beast' but would 'struggle' against Walker if France face England in World Cup quarter-final, says Walcott

13:55 SAST 2022/12/01
Walker and Mbappe
Theo Walcott claims that although Kylian Mbappe is a "different beast" he would "struggle" against Kyle Walker if France and England meet in Qatar.
  • Walcott says Mbappe is no physical match for Walker
  • Adds Ligue 1 is not the same as Premier League
  • Nations could meet in World Cup quarter-finals

WHAT HAPPENED? The French international is currently leading the goal-scoring charts in the 2022 World Cup with three goals to his name. However, former England international Walcott believes that Mbappe's mettle will be tested if he goes up against Manchester City full-back Walker, who he believes is physically more dominant than the Paris Saint-Germain forward. Walcott also claimed that playing in the Premier League is a completely different ball game than playing in Ligue 1.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I would love to see it. I really would. I feel like Mbappe would struggle against his [Walker’s] physicality, if I’m honest,'' The Southampton winger told talkSPORT. ''He plays in the French league, which is a different kettle of fish to the Premier League and Walker has so much experience in the Champions League. So it would be a great test. I think we all want to see it.''

However, he ultimately declined to pick a winner between the two, adding: "I couldn’t tell you who would win that – because Mbappe is a different beast, he’s on a different level at the moment.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: England can potentially face France in the quarter-finals if both nations successfully negotiate their respective challenges in the round of 16. Walker and Mbappe did go up against each other previously in the 2021-22 edition of the Champions League group stage when Manchester City locked horns with PSG. Both teams won their respective home matches with Mbappe scoring at the Etihad Stadium in a 2-1 defeat.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR ENGLAND AND FRANCE? The Three Lions will face Senegal in the last 16 while France will take on Poland, with both matches set to take place on Sunday.