England vs Senegal, FIFA World Cup 2022 Live Updates: ENG and SEN clash for 1st ever with QF spot on the line, lineups announced

England vs Senegal: Even before their last 16 meeting, Three Lions shift focus to ‘quarter-final vs France’

Oh, that hubris!

England is a team of talented, charming young men who are easy to like. However, it is the noise around them that invariably leads to gloating. On this occasion, ahead of their round of 16 game against Senegal, Gary Lineker is to blame.

On Friday, he said Gareth Southgate should rest right-back Kyle Walker against Senegal ahead of Sunday’s World Cup round-of-16 match so he is fresh to take on Kylian Mbappé and France in the quarter-final.

“Kyle Walker shouldn’t be in the England team to play against Senegal, and I’ll tell you exactly why. We England can’t afford to see Walker injured in that match. Because he’s pretty much the only full-back in the world who can rival Kylian Mbappé,” Lineker told the BBC.

“Mbappé is the French team. Why risk him (Walker) getting injured, especially in that position? I don’t want to sound arrogant and say we take Senegal for granted, but why risk Walker?

The moment Lineker added a “but” to that sentence, everything else he added lost relevance. He even quoted the BBC article about his views with: “No Brainer”.

Lineker is not alone, of course. Gary Neville told Sky Sports: “Looks like there’s a collision course waiting to happen, doesn’t it? Mbappé against Walker.” His former Manchester United and England defensive partner Rio Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel: “For me, Kyle Walker is the only defender in the world right now who will stand there and go to Mbappe: ‘Okay, 1- v-1, let’s have a race’.” (READ MORE)

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