Stephen Kenny pinpoints when Kylian Mbappé is at his most dangerous ahead of France clash – Irish Mirror

Stephen Kenny watched France star Kylian Mbappé in the flesh during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – now he has to find a way of stopping the PSG dangerman.
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Stephen Kenny has warned that Kylian Mbappé will be at his most dangerous at the Aviva Stadium later this month when IRELAND have the ball.
The Boys in Green boss was in Qatar to see Mbappe’s two-goal display against Denmark.
And he also studied the PSG star’s destruction of Poland and his World Cup final hat-trick in France’s penalty shootout defeat to Argentina.
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According to Kenny, Mbappé poses the greatest threat on turnovers, as France boss Didier Deschamps absolves him of any defensive responsibility.
“I thought he was devastating,” he said of the lightning fast 24-year-old’s World Cup performances.
“Sometimes when teams have the ball, when teams think they’re doing alright against him…people were saying Matty Cash is doing well for Poland in that match getting forward.
“But then he scored twice in that match when they turned it over. He doesn’t have a defensive responsibility in their game plan.”
Kenny also cautioned against paying too much attention to Mbappé.
“He’s only one player, they have a lot of good players, we can’t get overly fixated on one player,” he said.
“We’ve got to focus on ourselves. He is a terrific talent, there is no doubt about that.”
Kenny watched France twice during his stay in Qatar – in their 2-1 win over Denmark and their 1-0 defeat to Tunisia.
Deschamps put out a second string side in that one, with qualification from the group stages already secured.
“It was great to see France first-hand, that was one of my primary objectives,” he said.
“I knew Holland would change with the change of manager. It was still good to see certain individual players with Holland that I hadn't seen live.
“That was important to see that and understand the characteristics of the players live.
“It was actually good to see France against Tunisia because they made so many changes.
“It was good to see a lot of players that I wouldn't have been as familiar with live, as the main performers.
“But to see them against Denmark, that was a great game to see. It was a terrific game and tactically very, very interesting for me, hugely interesting.
“If we could have picked a team to watch against France, I would have selected Denmark.”
The Ireland boss doesn’t believe that the retirements of experienced stars such as Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and Manchester United defender Raphael Varane will weaken Deschamps’ side.
“(Mike) Maignan is back for Milan, he's a good goalkeeper and highly regarded,” he said.
“A lot of centre backs, that's probably their best (position) for strength in depth so I don't see those as major issues.
“They have some players they have added from the World Cup, probably Maignan and (Paul) Pogba, who seems to be back.
“It will be interesting. You can't be certain of their line-up as they obviously play Holland just before us. We have to cover a variety of players.”
Stephen Rice will be dispatched to watch France’s clash with Holland. Coming just 72 hours before their visit to Dublin, does he think Les Bleus will be fatigued by the time they get to the Aviva?
“We are not sure what they will do, in terms of whether they will make four or five changes. They can easily do that,” he replied. “So there is a level of uncertainty about that.
“We are pleased that the game against Latvia is Wednesday rather than Friday. That’s by design to give us the best opportunity, because we need everything we can get in this game, because France are obviously such an outstanding team.
“Only time will tell. The players are used to playing every three days at that level, because they play in the Champions League, so it’s nothing for them really. They are used to it.
“But you never know. I honestly don’t know whether they’ll pick the same team against Holland and against us, or whether they’ll make five changes. It’s difficult to predict that.”
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