Mbappe cherry-picks United fan-favourite for the ‘danger’ he can create that makes teams ‘pay dearly’

Despite heading into the tie as the bookies’ favourites, Kylian Mbappe is well aware of the mammoth task that awaits France when they lock horns with Portugal this evening.

The two teams will be undergoing their final preparations in Hamburg ahead of tonight’s 8pm kick-off at the Volksparkstadion.

Manchester United have two representatives who could feature in the clash: Bruno Fernandes, who is likely to start and play the majority of the quarter-final, and Diogo Dalot, who has been an unused substitute for two of Portugal’s four matches played.

Remarkably, France are yet to score from open play at the tournament. Their only contribution from a Frenchman came from the penalty spot courtesy of Mbappe in a 1-1 draw with Poland on June 25.

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Jan Vertonghen was left red-faced after his 85th-minute own-goal saw Belgium exit the tournament to Didier Deschamps’ side following a 1-0 defeat on Monday, while Portugal were made to work for their spot in the last-eight; they were taken to penalties by a spirited, well-drilled Slovenian side.

With Slovenia unable to convert any of their spot-kicks, the Portuguese advanced thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernandes and Bernardo Silva.

Frequently United’s talisman, Fernandes will be looking to return to his best against France and replicate a performance similar to his scintillating showing in the FA Cup final.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY – JULY 01: Bruno Fernandes of Portugal celebrates after scoring his penalty at Frankfurt Arena on July 01, 2024.. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Mbappe cherry-picks Fernandes for high praise

Mbappe is well aware of the threat he can inflict, too, as he told reporters this week: “When you play against a team like Portugal, it’s dangerous to focus on one player because they are good in every position. We usually talk about Cristiano Ronaldo, but he is far from alone.

“Rafael Leão is a danger, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, my former teammates at PSG… they are all dangerous.”

“We shouldn’t focus on one player. When you ignore great players, you usually pay dearly,” he admitted.

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