England manager Phill Neville claims he has been plotting for a crucial world cup meeting of women with the United States since the day he took the job. In the last four on Tuesday Neville’s side face the holders in Lyon, targeting to arrive at the final earlier.
Victory would make the Lionesses the first senior England team to arrive a vital global final since 1986.
Neville told the media, “we’ve planned for it, we’ve played against them and we know how we’re going to play”. He added, “ when it was France or USA in the semi-final every one of my players said: ‘Let’s hope it’s the USA”.
He also added, “when I got the job [in January 2018], the first three games I looked at were the USA. I was sitting in my house in Valencia and watched three games in one afternoon because I thought: ‘How can we win the World Cup? ”.
He also included, “You have to beat the best, and the USA is the best. They’ve proven it. But we’re ready for them. Sometimes, before these games, you can have fear and trepidation – but I can smell nothing but freedom, happiness, and excitement.”
The Lionesses have arrived at the last four for the second World Cup – and a third major tournament – in a row and have a completely fit squad.
They beat Norway 3-0 in the quarter-finals, with a record-breaking UK television audience of 7.6 million cheering them on.
Favorites and three-time champion the USA – who have never failed to make the semi-finals of the World Cup – beat host nation France.
Both sides have been practicing for the game amid a heatwave across France, but temperatures are assumed to be fresher slightly.