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You go one-on-one with Mbappe, you’re basically hoping he has a bad game: Campbell

Sol Campbell, one of many Invincibles of that Arsenal unit wanting simply as huge and intimidating to today, positioned each the fingers on his head, nearly exasperating on the point out of Kyle Walker’s quote that wrote headlines for the England-France World Cup quarter-final conflict: “The game is not England vs Mbappe, it’s England vs France”.

“Of course, you’ve got to say that out loud, but internally…” Campbell, each eyebrows raised with the smile gifting away the unfinished sentence, mentioned of that assertion. “To be honest, if I was Mbappe, that’s fuelling me even more. You just don’t need to be putting more logs into the fire.”

There seems to be no dousing the Frenchman’s fireplace in Qatar over the previous few weeks, his path of sheer pace too scorching for groups to deal with. So, even when we have been to go by the Walker discuss, how huge is the five-goal Mbappe issue within the “England vs France” contest? Pretty huge, reckoned the previous England centre again Campbell, which solely balloons right into a better pressure—and fear for England—when Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud get added to the equation.

“It depends on how Gareth (Southgate, England manager) goes—does he add another player at the back or keeps it as it is. If he keeps it, he’s going to really struggle in containing Mbappe, and then Dembele on the other side and Giroud upfront,” Campbell, who has been within the metropolis because the begin of the World Cup final month as a part of Viacom18’s knowledgeable panel, mentioned.

They key battle for Campbell is what number of our bodies England can get behind when the French wheels activate.

“How many players they can bring back just to mark three guys. There will have to moments when they’ll have to defend in numbers, and other times when they’ll have to go one-on-one,” he mentioned.

One little factor with that one-on-one tactic (for which Walker can be Mbappe’s man). “You go one-on-one with Mbappe, you’re basically hoping he has a bad game!” Campbell mentioned.

“So, the key battle is the defence: how much do England want the midfield and the wings coming back to protect them, and when can they release them and take a gamble and go one-on-one,” the burly defender added.

Campbell termed this much-anticipated last-eight conflict a “proper, proper test”, the “sternest” but for the Three Lions and one which has “probably come a little bit early”.

“This game will expose if they (England players) really are at the top of their game. If they are, they have a good chance of winning it.”

Campbell, who spent 5 years at Arsenal and represented the nationwide crew from 1996 to 2007, felt England even have sufficient high quality of their assault, singling out Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham whereas hoping that Harry Kane “can bring it on”. He mentioned the goalless draw with USA was a “real wake-up call”, however that Southgate deserved credit score for a largely trouble-less passage into the quarter-finals after a string of poor outcomes this 12 months.

“For coming into the finals without a win in their last five games, he’s done a really good job of turning it around and making sure everyone turns up. Obviously, they’ve had easy games to get them going, and the real test was America and that wasn’t the best,” he mentioned of Southgate who took over in 2016. “His record speaks for itself—he’s been the best since the World Cup win (by England in 1966). Just needs to go a step further.”

That’s the place England below Southgate have faltered however the promise and expertise of this present bunch. They exited within the semi-final stage on the 2018 World Cup and misplaced the ultimate of the Euros final 12 months.

“It’s down to the manager to keep them positive and say, ‘hey, we’ve come so close’,” Campbell mentioned. “This current lot is brimming with talent going forward. We have lots of players who can bring in different dimensions to the attacking play. It’s whether we can transfer that to get over the line and win it.”

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