Kyle Walker has said he won’t be ‘rolling out the red carpet’ for Kylian Mbappe in the England v France clash.
The Three Lions defender is set to face containing the Paris Saint-Germain superstar for Saturday quarter-final.
Mbappe has scored five goals and leads the race for the Golden Boot in Qatar with much speculation over how England will try to retain him.
Walker, a Manchester City right-back, said he was up for the challenge and told a press conference: “We respect that he is a good player in good form, but I don’t I’m not going to roll out a red carpet for him and tell him to score.
“I represent my country in the quarter-finals of a world Cup, it’s really do or die. If we lose, we go home. He’s not going to stop me from hoping to win a World Cup for my country.”
“I understand what I have to do and that is to stop it,” he added.
“It’s probably easier said than done, but I don’t underestimate myself. I played against a lot of great players at Man City and in England.
“I have to treat it like another game, I have to be very careful and give it the respect it deserves, but not too much respect because it’s also playing against England and we can cause them problems.”
Walker has faced Mbappe four times in the Champions League and has won plaudits for the way he has previously treated the French striker.
“Obviously that’s always going to help because I’ve played against him many times now with Manchester City“Walker added.
“He’s a fantastic player in great form. It won’t be an easy task, but as a professional footballer you want to play against the best and I think he’s one of the best if not the best in the world at the time.”
Further up the pitch, concerns have been raised about england midfielder after Declan Rice missed training due to illness.
The West Ham midfielder was not present for training with the rest of the squad on Wednesday, just three days away from the clash with France.
Other players who missed training include striker Callum Wilson, who has yet to return to training after picking up a muscle problem following the last 16 win over Senegal, Rahim Sterlingwho returned to the UK after intruders broke into his home, and Ben White, who left Qatar for personal reasons last week.