Paul Merson says: Harry Maguire was England’s best player so far at 2022 World Cup in Qatar ahead of Wales game | Soccer News

In his last sky sports column, Paul Merson discusses Tuesday night’s game between Wales and England in the World Cup, why Harry Maguire was their best player in Qatar and thinks Kylian Mbappe is the best player in the world.

England are guaranteed to make it to the last 16 as long as they avoid a four-goal or more loss to Wales, who must beat Gareth Southgate’s side to hope to progress in Group B.

Maguire is likely to start for England on Tuesday night after impressing in his first two games as they beat Iran 6-2 followed by a goalless draw with the United States.

England will finish top of the group with a win over Rob Page’s side and that could pave the way for a potential quarter-final against France, who are on course to qualify as group winners.

Read on for the Magic Man’s thoughts on the Wales v England game, Maguire’s performance in Qatar and how England could stop Mbappe…

Wales will not win by four goals

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England manager Gareth Southgate explains, in as simple terms as possible, the footballing rivalry between England and Wales

I expect England to go through but they won’t lose 4-0 so whatever happens they go through.

But it will be good to find the way to victory before entering the round of 16.

These games, you have seen them all before – it will be a difficult game. It’s probably the biggest game in Wales history tonight and England have to go.

I’m absolutely sure England will pull through. If they lost 4-0, I would be shocked. It will be the biggest clash in the history of football.

If England lost it wouldn’t be a shock, but if they lost 4-0 it would.

World Cup is open | Nobody’s great in it

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Paul Merson says England’s performance against USA was ‘poor’ but insists no team ‘goes through’ every game of a World Cup

The goalless draw against USA was poor the other night, but that’s what happens in tournament football.

You have ups and downs, you have to ride your luck, we were lucky and drew. If we win this game against Wales, we won the group, which was quite a difficult group if I’m honest.

I think England will do well. I think it’s an open tournament. I don’t think anyone is great in it. I don’t think anyone is ripping it up.

I think we have to get lucky, get a good draw and then we have to go from there. But I think the most important thing is to get through the group, which they will do.

Maguire, England’s best performer so far

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Harry Maguire has been voted England’s most successful player against the United States by Sky Sports readers, while manager Gareth Southgate has reiterated his faith in the player.

The most impressive English player of the moment is Harry Maguire.

I thought he was outstanding the other night. It takes a lot of bottle what it does. To show up and go to that pitch with all the pressure on him and he never lets England down – I can’t speak highly enough of this guy.

I think if he didn’t play the other night, we will be beaten by the United States. I take my hat off to him, fair play.

It’s a big pressure to play for England and it’s been even more pressure to play for England for Maguire in the last two games, and he’s never let anyone down.

Mbappé is the best player in the world

Kylian Mbappe celebrates after restoring France's lead
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Kylian Mbappe is joint-top scorer at the 2022 World Cup with three goals

Mbappé is the best player in the world. He has everything: he can beat players, he crosses the ball, scores goals, he can head, he can dribble.

At 23, it’s phenomenal.

England will need Kyle Walker back should they face France later in the tournament otherwise I think we will struggle.

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