On The Ball

England have the talent to threaten France, if Southgate can instil some self-belief

England manager Gareth Southgate oversees training with his players as they prepare for their quarter-final clash with France on Saturday. PHOTO: REUTERS
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LONDON – At first glance, England’s blueprint for defeating France in the World Cup quarter-finals is little more than stopping Kylian Mbappe.

Of all the players hyped ahead of the tournament, with apologies to Lionel Messi, Mbappe has augmented his reputation as the planet’s best. His speed, his directness and his self-assurance have made him a cut above in Qatar. 

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