World Cup 2022: Jamie Carragher explains his England v France prediction
Jamie Carragher is tipping France to book their spot in the World Cup semi-finals with victory over England on Saturday
Jamie Carragher is backing Kylian Mbappe to fire France past England and into the World Cup semi-finals on Saturday evening.
The Three Lions are preparing to take on Didier Deschamps’ side as they bid to book their spot in the last four of the tournament in Qatar, having beaten Senegal 3-0 in the round of 16 last weekend.
France sealed their spot in the quarter-finals with a 3-1 victory over Poland, with Mbappe netting twice after Olivier Giroud had given them the lead.
Mbappe has been in sensational form during the World Cup so far, with the 23-year-old PSG attacker having scored five goals and made two assists in four appearances in Qatar.
Former Liverpool FC and England star Carragher believes that Mbappe will be the key man for France on Saturday and he is backing Deschamps’ team to beat England and set up a semi-final showdown with either Morocco or Portugal.
Writing in his predictions column for The Telegraph, Carragher said: “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.”
Mbappe is widely regarded as one of European football’s top attacking talents, and he has scored 19 goals and made five assists for PSG in all competitions so far this season.
Despite the spotlight likely to be on star man Mbappe on Saturday, England defender Kyle Walker has insisted that the Three Lions know what they need to do to keep the PSG man at bay.
The Manchester City defender, who has started two of England’s games so far in Qatar, is well aware of the threat posed by Mbappe but says the game is about more than just the PSG attacker.
“I understand what I need to do and that is to stop him,” said Walker this week. “It’s easier said than done but I don’t underestimate myself.
“He is a fantastic player in great form. It is not going to be an easy task, but as a professional footballer you want to play against the best and I think he is one of the best, if not the best, in the world at the moment.”
Walker has come up against Mbappe three times as a Manchester City player, and the England full-back is relishing the opportunity of facing the Frenchman once again.
“I know he’s a top player but we’re not playing tennis,” he added. “It’s not a solo sport, it’s a team game.
“You have to give him respect but not too much. Yes, it will be a tough game but a team cannot just be about one person. I’m not going to roll out a red carpet for him and tell him to score. It’s a World Cup, it’s do or die.”