England’s plan to combat France in World Cup has been two years in making | England

England have spent two years preparing a blueprint to beat France at the World Cup and are confident they will be physically and tactically ready when they face the world champions on Saturday evening.

There was little time for rest after they swept into the quarter-finals by beating Senegal 3-0 on Sunday. Gareth Southgate and his staff returned to the team hotel in the early hours on Monday morning and then absorbed a detailed analysis of France from Tim Dittmer, the Football Association’s head of coaching.

“We got back at 3am, we went to bed, we were up at 9,” Steve Holland,…

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