Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford can carry England’s World Cup hopes like Kylian Mbappe does for France, says Theo Walcott.

United’s number ten sits joint-top alongside Paris Saint Germain superstar Mbappe in the race to win the Golden Boot with three goals apiece.

England’s number 11 will be hoping his two-goal salvo against Wales sees him rewarded with a place in Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up for Sunday’s last-16 clash against Senegal.

Wales v England: Group B - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
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If the Three Lions beat Lions of Teranga and France beat Poland, then it’s all setup for a Rashford v Mbappe showdown in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Marcus Rashford can carry England’s World Cup hopes like Kylian Mbappe does for France, says Theo Walcott

While Mbappe has been regarded as one of the best players on the planet since bursting onto the scene with Monaco six years ago, Rashford is back to his blistering best after enduring a difficult 2021-22 campaign.

Mbappe, who has seven goals in ten World Cup appearances, helped fire Les Bleus to glory in Russia four years ago.

But given Rashford’s renaissance since Erik ten Hag took the reins at Old Trafford, Southampton forward and 47-time England international believes that the 25-year-old can fire England to glory and shoulder the same weight of expectation that Mbappe does for France.

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Speaking to talkSPORT, Walcott said: “Marcus [Rashford] obviously the first game not starting would have been disappointed like any other player on the pitch.

“[His] confidence is that high that [he’s] only going to carry the team, a bit like the way [Kylian] Mbappe carries France – I get the sense Marcus could be that person for us, the way he’s playing right now.

“What I really enjoy, and I’ve missed it for the last couple of years is that he’s smiling [again] and that’s all you want to see on the field from Marcus Rashford because that for me shows his character, and it definitely comes out when he’s playing in an England shirt.”

Rashford has scored against Mbappe’s PSG three times in four meetings, two of which were late winners and one famously sent United through to the Champions League quarter-finals at the Parisians expense with a last-gasp penalty.

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