Saturday, December 10, 2022    Updated 8h ago ePaper







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France hoping Mbappe will match England's depth
France’s players join team’s training session in Doha on Thursday. Photo: Twitter

France hoping Mbappe will match England's depth

All eyes will be on Kylian Mbappe once again as France take on England in a mouthwatering World Cup quarter-final clash but the defending champions must hope their lack of options from the bench will not be exposed on Saturday.Les Bleus, who are looking to become the first team to retain the title since Brazil in 1958-1962, were hit hard by injuries ahead of the tournament with midfielders Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kante, and forward Karim Benzema all ruled out.Mbappe has been on fire in Qatar, with five goals and two assists, while Olivier Giroud has provided three goals, but they have yet to come up against a world-class team.After wins over Australia and Denmark in their first two matches, France's fringe players did not cover themselves in glory in a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia to round out the group.Didier Deschamps's starting 11 features some fearsome firepower up front with Mbappe, Giroud and Ousmane Dembele, while Adrien Rabiot and Aurelien Tchouameni have proved extremely reliable in midfield.Antoine Griezmann has been the perfect link between the lines. At the back, however, France have issues.Jules Kounde is not a natural right back and left back Theo Hernandez is more forward-minded, which could present problems if he is pegged back by England's attacks.Rabiot is well aware of England's danger in wide areas but predicted they may be more cautious than in previous games."They have players who are fast on the wings, fullbacks who are very offensive," he added."They won't take all the risks because we can also hurt them on the flanks."O...

12h ago