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FIFA World Cup 2022: England cannot focus on Mbappe alone in France encounter, warns Shaw

By Andrew Steel

England's focus cannot be on Kylian Mbappe alone when they face France in the World Cup quarter-finals, says Luke Shaw.

Gareth Southgate's side will face Les Bleus on Saturday after both reached the last-eight in comfortable fashion, with the Three Lions running out 3-0 victors over Senegal.

Didier Deschamps' defending champions meanwhile overcame Poland 3-1, with Mbappe celebrating a double and Olivier Giroud breaking the nation's all-time goalscorer record.

Shaw warned the quality of talent across the board is something England must address rather than keep their focus firmly on stopping Paris Saint-Germain superstar Mbappe, who has five goals at Qatar 2022 already to his name.

"Obviously after his performance [against Poland], there's going to be even more chat about him," he said. "But we know he's a world-class player.

"I think it would be very naive of us to focus purely on him. They're reigning world champions for a reason and we need to focus on them as a whole team.

"They have brilliant players over the whole pitch, so we're not going to fully focus on him, but it's an amazing tie to be involved in and that's why we're here."

England posted their third clean sheet of the tournament in four matches against Senegal, as Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka fired the Three Lions to victory.

Shaw feels it marked another forward step for the team but stressed they will need to be fully switched on to deal with their toughest opponent yet.

"I think we're really happy with the victory, another clean sheet obviously," he added. "We were more clinical in front of goal. We defended well as well, not too many chances for them.

"In the first half, a couple of sloppy passes put [us] under pressure, but apart from that, overall I think it's a solid performance. It needs to give us confidence and the belief.

"We have to be at 100 per cent to win this game, and we know that. I think we need to step up another level because France are a very good team."

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Story first published: Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 22:42 [IST]
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