Football

World Cup 2022: Rice and Mbappe missed training ahead of super quarter-final clash

Kylian Mbappe has stolen the show at the World Cup and is the leading goalscorer in Qatar. Declan Rice is in esteemed company, starting every game for England in Qatar 2022. Both players missed training for their respective sides and can miss the duel on December 10 in Al Khor. 

Declan Rice

Gareth Southgate has been fortunate to have his preferred eleven at his disposal during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

The knockout rounds have seen this status quo change. Raheem Starling’s forced to return home earlier after an armed robbery at his residence. Declan Rice can be the other casualty to Southgate’s plans as he missed training on Wednesday morning. 

The English camp has not shared details about the reasons for his absence. Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol does not believe it is not as severe as made out in the dailies and opined that the midfielder is down with flu and can be back. 

“Declan Rice is a key player for Gareth Southgate. The one thing I would say is that he’s missing this training session with an illness, so maybe it is just something like flu, maybe he’s just back in his room at the hotel,” Solkekol commented.

“It doesn’t look like a footballing injury. So if it is something like flu, you’d think he could recover well in time for the game against France.”

Bench strength to be tested

Alongside Rice, Jude Bellingham has been central to Southgate’s midfield ideas. If the West Ham midfielder is ruled out, Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips will be forced to step up. 

Neither Henderson nor Phillips has appeared regularly for the Three Lions in their Qatar adventures. The Liverpool man has accumulated 193 minutes at the World Cup across three appearances. Phillips’ tally stands at 40 minutes across two substitute outings. 

Kalvin Phillips

“But Gareth Southgate does have strength in depth in that position, Kalvin Phillips could come in if the worst came to worst and Declan Rice was missing. About a year ago he was the England player of the year, and an ever-present for England at the Euros,” Solhekol added.

“He [Phillips] hasn’t played too much this time around in Qatar because Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Jordan Henderson have been playing so well.”

Mbappe injury rumours addressed

Kylian MbappeAkin to England, France’s preferred playing eleven has continued to deliver at the World Cup. Kylian Mbappe picked up where he left off four years ago and is leading the race for the Golden Boot. 

All eyes will be on the PSG attacker in the quarter-final clash with Southgate and his support staff calling him a special talent. Mbappe missed training on Tuesday morning and his participation in the knockout affair was called into question. 

Liverpool defender, Ibrahima Konate, shared details about the French starlet, who has been training indoors on an exercise bike. 

“He was just resting yesterday. He had a different kind of training session to do. There was nothing worrying about that. Nothing surprising either.

“He is incredibly impressive. But I am not surprised. He has been showing this level for years. He is getting better and better. I don’t know where he can stop.

“What is impressive is his speed and tactical abilities. We are lucky he is on our team and not against us.”

About the author

Owais Khan

Profiling the beautiful game for over a decade, Awais is a business analyst turned sports writer. He has covered football in the maidans of Pakistan and has transitioned to watching 1860 Munich in 3. Liga.