Shaw braced for Mbappe battle

Tuesday 06 December 2022 11:00

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw is not obsessing over facing France superstar Kylian Mbappe in the World Cup quarter-finals at the weekend.

England take on the holders in Saturday's 19:00 GMT kick-off, with Mbappe leading the scoring charts on five goals after adding to his tally with a firmly struck double in the 3-1 victory over Poland.

The Paris Saint-Germain speedster is likely to be marked by Manchester City's Kyle Walker but Shaw and Reds team-mate Maguire look certain to also form part of the defence that is charged with the responsibility of keeping the 23-year-old quiet.

Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud celebrate another goal for France.
"We managed to watch the end of the [France] game on the coach and after his [Mbappe's] performance, there is going to be even more chat about him, and we know he is a world-class player," said Shaw, quoted in the Daily Mail.

"But I think it would be very naive of us to focus purely on him. They are world champions for a reason, because they have brilliant players all over the whole pitch, so we are not going to fully focus on him.

"It will be a very tough game and mentally we have to be ready and focused because we have to be at 100 per cent to win this game and we know that.

"It's been an amazing tournament, an unbelievable one to watch and it shows no game is easy," he continued.

"When you come to a World Cup, it's always different - the atmosphere, the game, the heat. These are the things you need to get used to.

"We're obviously doing the right things at the moment, but I think we need to step up another level because France are a very good team."

Resilient Reds to lock horns in quarter-final


Fellow United defenders will be on opposite sides in the World Cup on Saturday.

Mbappe has come up against United on four occasions in the Champions League, with Shaw playing in three of the contests.

The forward scored in PSG's 2-0 win at Old Trafford in 2019, but misfired in the second leg as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side went through on away goals, with Marcus Rashford's stoppage-time penalty securing a memorable 3-1 triumph.

A year later, we met in the group stages and Mbappe played in both the Parisiens' 2-1 defeat and 3-1 win but did not score in either game.

The Parc des Princes victory in October 2020 was notable for an outstanding defensive performance by Axel Tuanzebe, who nullified the threat of Mbappe in particular, using his pace and strength. The homegrown defender is currently working hard on his recovery from injury at Carrington.