Will Kylian Mbappe play for France vs England?

Euan Burns
Mbappe has been the star of the show in Qatar
Mbappe has been the star of the show in Qatar / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

England have got by far and away their biggest test of the 2022 Qatar World Cup coming up as they take on current world champions France in the quarter-final.

The star-studded French team made fairly light work of their group stage by beating Australia and Denmark. They did lose against Tunisia but were already through at that point and played a heavily rotated team.

Didier Deschamps' side are one of the major favourites to win and a large part of that is the involvement of Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe. He has been an injury doubt though coming into Saturday evening's big match.

Will Kylian Mbappe be fit to face England?

It is the question on everyone's lips, because Mbappe is just that good. There is no defender or defence in football that you would confidently claim can contain Mbappe.

On Tuesday of this week though, he missed France training which raised serious concerns over his fitness ahead of what will also be France's toughest game of the tournament so far too, after beating Poland in the Round of 16.

The general consensus from various player interviews does seem to be, though, that Mbappe will be in action from the start against England on Saturday. Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, France and Liverpool defender Ibrahim Konate assured fans that there is nothing to worry about.

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe scored two superb goals for France against Poland / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

"We haven't really spoken about it at all. He was just resting yesterday [Tuesday]. He had a different kind of training session to do. There was nothing worrying about that. Nothing surprising either," Konate said.

France and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris also played the situation down, saying Mbappe is ignoring all of the talk around him and his fitness ahead of the game.

"He is focused on his objectives and seems very happy, as he has since the tournament began. He is preparing very well and he is ignoring the talk about him," Lloris said.

The stats suggest that this is bad news for England. In Mbappe's 13 starts for France at major tournaments, Les Bleus have won every game. He has also been directly involved in 12 goals in those fixtures.

How has Kylian Mbappe performed at the 2022 World Cup?

The way in which Mbappe finds new heights every time he plays is frightening. He has played 83% of France's minutes in the four games so far, and in that time, he has scored five times and got two assists. He has either scored or assisted France's last seven World Cup goals.

So yeah, he's doing pretty well. Much has been made of the contest between Mbappe on the France left and Manchester City's Kyle Walker on England's right. If anyone in the England team has enough pace to deal with Mbappe, it is Walker. Beyond pace, he's going to need help from his teammates.

Kylian Mbappe, Przemyslaw Frankowski
Mbappe's pace is enough to terrify any defender / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Coming up against Mbappe can feel like starting 1-0 down, but Gareth Southgate will be urging his team to remember that they are playing against the whole French team, not just Mbappe.

The 23-year-old has been talked up by France coach Deschamps in the run-up to the match: "England will have prepared for Kylian, but he is in a position to make the difference.

"Even in his last match he wasn't at his best, not in top form, but he was still decisive [scoring twice in a 3-1 win against Poland]. We have other players, but Kylian is Kylian and he always will be."