Kylian Mbappe will be FIT to play against England in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final as team-mate Ibrahima Konate says ‘there was nothing to worry about’ after the PSG star missed training
Kylian Mbappe will be fit to play the World Cup quarter-final clash between France and England, his team-mate Ibrahima Konate assures.
The 23-year-old was absent from training on Tuesday, raising concerns over his fitness ahead of Saturday night’s crunch clash.
Konate insists there was ‘nothing to worry about’, however, revealing Mbappe was just ‘resting’ after starring in France’s 3-1 win over Poland in the round of 16.
Kylian Mbappe will be fit to play England in Saturday’s quarter-final, insists Ibrahima Konate
Konate (left) assures leading World Cup goalscorer Mbappe was simply ‘resting’ as he sat out of France’s training session on Tuesday
Speaking at France’s press conference, Konate said: ‘We haven’t really spoken about it at all.
‘He was just resting yesterday. He had a different kind of training session to do. There was nothing worrying about that. Nothing surprising either.’
The Paris Saint-Germain star is undoubtedly France’s biggest threat heading into the game, currently leading the race for the Golden Boot with five goals in four games.
But there were concerns after Les Bleus staff confirmed Mbappe was not involved in France’s training session on Tuesday due to ongoing recovery work, despite others who featured in the same match, including fellow goalscorer Olivier Giroud, taking part.
The news was particularly concerning as Mbappe had complained of an ankle injury heading into the tournament.
Mbappe will now go head-to-head with England right-back Kyle Walker on Saturday night, in what is one of the most eagerly-anticipated match-ups of the tournament.
Mbappe will now go head-to-head with England full-back Kyle Walker in one of the most eagerly-anticipated match-ups of the tournament
But Walker has vowed not to ‘roll the red carpet out’ in the all-important quarter-final clash
Walker, who many deem as the best candidate in world football to negate Mbappe’s blistering pace, earlier on Wednesday promised to make life as uncomfortable as possible for the young star.
‘The game isn’t England v Mbappe, it’s England vs France,’ Walker said bullishly at the Three Lions press conference. ‘We will give respect but I’m not going to roll out a red carpet for him to score. It’s do or die as if we lose we go home.’
He added, when pressed on how someone as talented as Mbappe is stopped: ‘I do understand what I need to do and that’s to stop him. It’s probably easier said than done but I don’t underestimate myself.
‘I’ve come across great players before so I just treat it like another game.
‘I’ll give him the respect he deserves but not too much because this is England. No one player makes a team. This isn’t tennis, it isn’t a solo sport.’
As for England, Gareth Southgate’s side have suffered a scare in the build-up to the clash, with Declan Rice missing training on Wednesday due to illness.
Declan Rice (left) and Callum Wilson (right) both missed England training on Wednesday
Rice has started all four of England’s games so far, playing a pivotal role in their seamless progression to the quarter-finals.
It is unclear over how this will affect the West Ham midfielder’s availability heading into the last eight encounter, though.
England could also be without Callum Wilson who was absent through a minor strain that he is recovering from.
The winner of Saturday’s clash between France and England will play either Morocco or Portugal in the semi-final, with kick-off at 7pm on Wednesday, December 14.