Anilava Chatterjee, Qatar: All eyes will be on Kylian Mbappe as reigning world champions France will take on England in the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 at the Al Bayt stadium on Saturday. The Paris Saint Germain star was in great mood at France training on Friday, quashing any doubts whatsoever about his availability in the marquee clash between the two European super-powers.
Mbappe was the cynosure of all eyes during France practice at the Al Saad Sports Club. He was in great mood, sporting a bright smiles as he trained with teammates. The 23 year old was seen having a word with Coach Didier Deschamps as well. The French national team have been training here since arriving in Qatar.
There were speculations about Mbappe’s fitness as he missed France training on Tuesday due to discomfort in his ankle, but it was merely a false alarm, as the 23-year-old was back on the practice pitches and will definitely be part of an unchanged XI.
Incredibly, France have won all nine of their World Cup matches that Mbappe has started, and his attacking partner Giroud – who has three goals to his name in Qatar.
Despite the absence of so many star players like Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Karim Benzema France has looked the team to beat.
That said, England will present a far stiffer challenge than anything the French have faced thus far. No team has scored more goals than Gareth Southgate’s side — like Portugal, it has mustered 12 in four games.
Whether it will be “It’s Coming Home” or “Allez Les Bleus” at the Al Bayt Stadium we have to wait for a few more hours.
Here is the predicted line-up for France in the quarter-final: Lloris, Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez, Tchouameni, Rabiot, Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe and Giroud