France face England in the quarter-finals on 10 December.
Didier Deschamps shrugged off the idea that France are dependent on Kylian Mbappe in his pre-match press conference.
France’s coach also said England don’t have any weaknesses.France are not overly dependent on Kylian Mbappe, according to head coach Didier Deschamps.
Mbappe has been in sparkling form at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and is the top scorer in the competition with five goals from four appearances.
The 23-year-old’s double in the last-16 win over Poland has taken his tally of World Cup goals to nine, as many as Lionel Messi and more than Cristiano Ronaldo.
World champions France are unbeaten in the 13 games Mbappe has started in major competitions – outside of penalty shoot-outs – and will be hoping that record continues against England at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.
A major talking point in the build-up to the game has been the match-up between Mbappe and England right-back Kyle Walker, who could play either in a back four or a back five in order to combat the France forward’s threat.
France captain Hugo Lloris played with Walker at Tottenham Hotspur and said Mbappe is putting the talk to one side.
“I think Kylian is preparing very well. Trying to ignore a lot of the talk about him, it’s really not something he needs,” he said.
“He’s very focused on his objectives, individually and collectively. He seems very happy, playing with a smile on his face and seems very focused on the match ahead of us.
“That’s how he’s looked from the beginning of this tournament.”
Didier Deschamps was also complimentary of France’s opponents and believes Gareth Southgate is unfairly maligned by some sections of the British media.
“They don’t have any,” Deschamps replied when asked what weaknesses England have that France could exploit.
“You talk about the British media but you [the French press] also ask tough questions of the team sometimes. All teams have strengths, not many of them have too many weaknesses, just some slightly less strong points.
“I very much like Gareth, we’ve met on a number of occasions, talked about a number of things. It seems not everyone appreciates him so much in his own country.
“That’s not because he’s not a good footballer, he had a distinguished career, and he’s also a very good coach. He’s enabled England to get some very good results, I very much like him.”