Arsenal star Bukayo Saka handed huge Kylian Mbappe task ahead of England vs France World Cup tie

by | 8 December, 2022 | Ligue 1 News

Bukayo Saka

Arsenal star Bukayo Saka has the task of helping stop Kylian Mbappe in England’s clash with France

The 2022 edition of the World Cup is reaching the latter stages and there are some huge clashes still to come that will decide the fate of the tournament. The quarter-finals are the next set of knockout matches and there’s some blockbuster billing, including England’s clash with France.

The Three Lions have impressed so far in this competition, qualifying from the group stages with the best record of any team to set up a Round of 16 game with Senegal. The African champions put up a tough fight in the opening stages of the clash, but once England took the lead, there was no looking back.

One of the standout performers so far for the national team has been Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, who has scored three goals in three appearances so far. He will now face off against France star Kylian Mbappe on his flank, causing some comparisons to be made between the two beforehand.

When asked about those comparing the two, Saka laughed it off, saying in his pre-match press conference: “Thank you for the compliment, but no. There’s only one Kylian Mbappe. At the same time, there’s only one me. I want to be myself and help the team in the best way I can.”

With plenty of focus on exactly how to stop Les Bleus’ talisman, ex-Arsenal star Ray Parlour believes Saka could be the answer. He told Sportslens: “Gareth will probably have a few words and tell him [Saka] to be wary and remind him that he might have to help double up on Mbappe at times. He’s played full-back before and he’s a versatile player, so that will stand him in good stead.

“We’re guessing in terms of Kyle Walker’s fitness but the physios and people behind the scenes will be using all the stats and metrics so they’ll know how well he’s recovering after the Senegal game.

“We don’t know if there’s been any niggles in training or anyone struggling with the conditions but Gareth has to make the decision with the info he gets and what he sees. But if Walker is fit then he’s got to play because his pace will be invaluable against Mbappe.”

It will be a huge task for Hale End academy graduate Saka, but his continual ability to rise to the occasion suggests he could be ready for the challenge once again.