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Will Kylian Mbappe play for France vs England?

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England have got by far and away their biggest test of the 2022 Qatar World Cup coming up as they take on current world champions France in the quarter-final.

The star-studded French team made fairly light work of their group stage by beating Australia and Denmark. They did lose against Tunisia but were already through at that point and played a heavily rotated team.

Didier Deschamps’ side are one of the major favourites to win and a large part of that is the involvement of Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe. He has been an injury doubt though coming into Saturday evening’s big match.

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It is the question on everyone’s lips, because Mbappe is just that good. There is no defender or defence in football that you would confidently claim can contain Mbappe.

On Tuesday of this week though, he missed France training which raised serious concerns over his fitness ahead of what will also be France’s toughest game of the tournament so far too, after beating Poland in the Round of 16.

The general consensus from various player interviews does seem to be, though, that Mbappe will be in action from the start against England on Saturday. Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, France and Liverpool defender Ibrahim Konate assured fans that there is nothing to worry about.

Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe scored two superb goals for France against Poland / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

“We haven’t really spoken about it at all. He was just resting yesterday [Tuesday]. He had a different kind of training session to do. There was nothing worrying about that. Nothing surprising either,” Konate said.

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France and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris also played the situation down, saying Mbappe is ignoring all of the talk around him and his fitness ahead of the game.

“He is focused on his objectives and seems very happy, as he has since the tournament began. He is preparing very well and he is ignoring the talk about him,” Lloris said.

The stats suggest that this is bad news for England. In Mbappe’s 13 starts for France at major tournaments, Les Bleus have won every game. He has also been directly involved in 12 goals in those fixtures.

The way in which Mbappe finds new heights every time he plays is frightening. He has played 83% of France’s minutes in the four games so far, and in that time, he has scored five times and got two assists. He has either scored or assisted France’s last seven World Cup goals.

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So yeah, he’s doing pretty well. Much has been made of the contest between Mbappe on the France left and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker on England’s right. If anyone in the England team has enough pace to deal with Mbappe, it is Walker. Beyond pace, he’s going to need help from his teammates.

Kylian Mbappe, Przemyslaw Frankowski

Mbappe’s pace is enough to terrify any defender / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Coming up against Mbappe can feel like starting 1-0 down, but Gareth Southgate will be urging his team to remember that they are playing against the whole French team, not just Mbappe.

The 23-year-old has been talked up by France coach Deschamps in the run-up to the match: “England will have prepared for Kylian, but he is in a position to make the difference.

“Even in his last match he wasn’t at his best, not in top form, but he was still decisive [scoring twice in a 3-1 win against Poland]. We have other players, but Kylian is Kylian and he always will be.”

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Atletico Madrid Confirm Signing of Kieran Trippier From Tottenham on 3-Year Deal

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​Atletico Madrid have confirmed the signing of Tottenham right back Kieran Trippier for a fee believed to be worth £20m plus add-ons.

Trippier’s future at Spurs was in doubt following the conclusion of the 2018/19 season and he was linked with Serie A sides Juventus and Inter.

However, Atleti have now confirmed the deal after Trippier passed his medical on Wednesday, revealing the England international has signed a three-year deal with the Spanish giants.

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In a ​statement on their website, Atleti stated: “Atlético de Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have reached an agreement for the transfer of Kieran Trippier. The English player, 28, signs for the next three seasons.”

Trippier is ​Atletico’s latest signing this summer, with the club having already signed Marcos Llorente, Felipe, Hector Herrera and Joao Felix among others. The former Burnley man will compete with Santiago Arias for a starting spot under Diego Simeone.

Trippier enjoyed a fine 2017/18 campaign and an even better World Cup, but his form tailed off the following season.

The deal leaves ​Tottenham with Serge Aurier and Kyle Walker-Peters as their recognised right backs, while Juan Foyth is also an option having played in that position for Argentina at this summer’s Copa America.

Trippier made 114 appearances for the north London club after joining for £3.5m from Burnley, scoring two goals and helping them reach the final of the ​Champions League last season.





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Brighton vs Liverpool – FA Cup: TV channel, team news, lineups & prediction

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Brighton host Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon, a fortnight after dismantling Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Amex Stadium in England’s top flight.

Roberto De Zerbi’s south coast hot-shots sit two points and three places above Liverpool in the Premier League table at the halfway stage of the season, underlining their advantage with a 3-0 triumph against Sunday’s foes two weeks ago.

Jurgen Klopp described that “horror show” as “the worst game I’ve ever seen from a team of mine”. Liverpool have kept consecutive clean sheets against Wolves and Chelsea after “everything went wrong” against the Seagulls.

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Here’s everything you need to know about one of the standout fixtures from the FA Cup fourth round.

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Brighton team news

Alongside long-term absentee Jakub Moder, Levi Colwill (quad) and former Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana (muscular) will sit out the upcoming cup tie.

Moises Caicedo is entirely fine physically but has been asked by the club to take a step back for the rest of the January transfer window. Bids from Arsenal and Chelsea lured the integral midfielder into a public declaration of his desire to leave, prompting the club to take action and effectively sideline Caicedo for Sunday’s match.

Brighton predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Van Hecke, Estupinan; Mac Allister, Gilmour; March, Gross, Mitoma; Ferguson

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Liverpool team news

Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are still recovering from calf injuries while Virgil van Dijk and Arthur Melo are “a couple of weeks” away from shaking off respective hamstring and thigh problems.

Luis Diaz is a longer term absentee with a serious knee issue while fellow forward Fabio Carvalho is a doubt after missing this week’s training. Back-up centre-back Nat Phillips has been laid low with a cold in the buildup to Sunday’s fixture.

Liverpool predicted lineup (4-3-3): Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Gomez, Robertson; Keita, Bajcetic, Thiago; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo

Prior to the riotous victory on the south coast, De Zerbi led his new side to a thrilling 3-3 draw against Liverpool at Anfield on his debut in the dugout. Brighton haven’t only proven to be prolific against the Reds, rattling in 19 goals across six matches since Christmas Day.

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Liverpool have drawn a blank in two of their last three games. Klopp was keen to highlight the “little step” forward represented by last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea but Liverpool are still struggling to rediscover anywhere near the same edge that took them to two titles – including the FA Cup – last season.

It’s highly unlikely that Klopp would allow his side to be as outrageously open as they were on their previous visit to the Amex. And without Caicedo snaffling around in midfield, Brighton may have a tougher time muzzling Liverpool going the other way in a contest which could lead to a rematch at Anfield.

Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Liverpool



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Anthony Hudson comments on head coach future amid USMNT restructure

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United States Men’s National Team interim boss Anthony Hudson says he’ll remain in the role as long as he’s required as the federation undergoes a restructure.

The Englishman took charge of his first match as an experimental group full of MLS talents and European youngsters lost 2-1 to Serbia at LAFC’s BMO Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Up next is another friendly against Colombia at LA Galaxy’s Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday in what was initially thought to be Hudson’s final game in charge.

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However, since his appointment, sporting director Earnie Stewart has left for PSV Eindhoven, while legendary USMNT striker Brian McBride’s contract as general manager was not renewed. With nobody currently around to pick a successor, Hudson is happy to keep steering the ship for now.

“Obviously there’s been some changes,” Hudson told reporters, adding: “My focus is just to keep preparing the team for as long as I’m asked to do it.

“I wasn’t really expecting any of this, how this has evolved. But my focus is purely on, when we get back, I’m going to focus on the next window. And if I’m still asked to do the one after that, I’m going to prepare for that one. And I’ll continue doing all I can. This is a really, really special team. I know how important this national team is and I want to do all I can to make sure it’s in a good place for whoever comes in, whenever that is.”

So, with his future assured for now, Hudson’s focus returns to Saturday’s game against Colombia. The priority, as is usually the case in these January friendlies, is on giving new players a chance to thrive who wouldn’t usually get one in an international window.

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“Everyone having played in these two games, that’s the objective,” said Hudson. “We want to see new players; can we add depth to the squad? And also by doing that, we need to make sure that we carry the players through these two games physically in the right way. Of course, we want to win every game we go into, but we are led by the physical capacity of each player in these games.”



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