"We will qualify, one million percent" - Paul Merson pins England's hopes on one player 5 months ago

"We will qualify, one million percent" - Paul Merson pins England's hopes on one player

"If he plays well tonight, we will qualify."

Paul Merson has pinned all of England's hopes of beating France tonight in the World Cup on one England player, and it isn't Harry Kane.


Normally a nations hopes fall on the captain, the talisman, the star player, the goal-getter, but in this instance, Merson believes the right back is the most important player.

Kyle Walker's performance will be the difference against France according to the Sky Sports pundit, purely because it will be his job to come up against Kylian Mbappe.

Merson England (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Mbappe is playing the kind of football that thrusts him into the conversation of maybe being the best player on the planet, and if Walker can stop him, then anything is possible.

"If there's anyone who can stop him, in my opinion it's Kyle Walker. I'm more comfortable with Walker playing than anyone.

"I don't know anyone that quick at that age. Every year he gets quicker and quicker, and fair play for what he's done, to come back and play a international level, because that's some doing.

"If he plays well tonight, we will qualify, one million percent. That's the battle for me.

"If Mbappe is a 9/10, then France will qualify, there's no way France will walk off that pitch tonight winning if Mbappe aint a 9/10.


"If he's a six or seven out of 10, then France aren't beating England."

Oliver Giroud might have something to say about that. The former Arsenal striker has broken France's goalscoring record throughout this tournament, and seems to have aged like fine wine.

If England are to have any chance, they will need to keep him quiet as well.

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