Kyle Walker warned there is no proven formula to stop France’s Kylian Mbappé

France’s Youssouf Fofana has wished Kyle Walker well in his mission to contain Kylian Mbappé in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final and said if the England defender succeeds in stopping his teammate then Ligue 1 clubs will be queueing up for his winning formula.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward, who has scored five goals in France’s four games, is the tournament’s leading goalscorer and a strong contender to win the Golden Boot. Walker was upbeat on Wednesday about his chances of muting Mbappé and said he has no plans to “roll out the red carpet” for him.

“Hats off to him, if he can stop Kylian then good for him,” Fofana, who plays his club football for Monaco, said of Walker. “There are 19 other teams in the French league [Ligue 1] that are waiting for the answer on how to stop Kylian.

“The truth is on the pitch. We will see what happens on Saturday. As a Frenchman, we all believe in Kylian.”

Mbappé’s duel with Walker is set to be integral to France’s chances of becoming the first team since Brazil in 1962 to win back-to-back World Cups. England have reached the semi-finals at their last two major tournaments, including the World Cup in Russia in 2018. They were runners-up at last year’s European Championship.

France’s players began their video analysis of England on Thursday, when Mbappé was the last player to emerge from the tunnel at their Al Sadd base for full training. “They are a great team, they have amazing individual players and we’ve followed them since the Euros that they played at home and they have been playing really well,” Fofana said of England.

“They are supposed to have progressed so it is going to be a great game to play. It is a rivalry, a geographic rivalry – they are neighbours and we are quite close in our culture.”

The midfielder was asked what Mbappé made of Walker’s comments. “Kylian is somebody that doesn’t really read the press, I’m sorry,” said Fofana. “He is concentrating on the match.

“He is going to be focused on what he has to do and what is expected of him rather than players he is going to face. He is very composed and very determined.”

The France defender Dayot Upamecano has advised Walker to have an early night on Friday in preparation for coping with Mbappé. The centre-back was asked how Mbappé, whom he twice faced in the Champions League while at RB Leipzig, compares with Erling Haaland, whom the defender played against when the Manchester City striker was at Borussia Dortmund.

“Kylian plays deeper, Haaland is more of a box player, waiting for [Kevin] De Bruyne’s pass,” Upamecano said. “They are two world-class players. You have to go to bed early to be able to defend well against them.”

Upamecano, now at Bayern Munich, played against Phil Foden and Mason Mount when France Under-21s beat England in their group-stage opener at the 2019 European Championship. The midfielder Mattéo Guendouzi and the forward Marcus Thuram were also part of the France squad at that tournament.

Upamecano said the former France centre-back Marcel Desailly, who won the World Cup in 1998, has been an inspirational figure in his career. “We have spoken together before a couple of games and he has given me some advice,” he said. “It’s a real pleasure to be able to talk to someone like that. He was a winner, a warrior, a great example as a young French player. It is really good to have someone like that giving you advice.”