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21st Jun 2018

England camp introduces measures to avoid any more leaks

Bit late for that

Darragh Murphy

Gareth Southgate is sick of his opponents getting hold of his teamsheets long before they should.

On two occasions now, it would appear that Southgate’s planned starting XIs for World Cup group games have been leaked.

A Daily Mail report nailed England’s team for their group opener against Tunisia on Monday while an eagle-eyed Daily Mirror photographer seemed to get a snapshot of Southgate’s reshuffled side for this weekend’s clash against Panama.

A photograph of Southgate’s training notes on Thursday led supporters to believe that Raheem Sterling will be dropped in favour of Ruben Loftus-Cheek while Marcus Rashford will come into the side, having started on the bench for the dramatic 2-1 victory over Tunisia.

The element of surprise is something that the England manager has been deprived of throughout this tournament but Southgate has already made changes to ensure that opposition managers will not be privy to his strategies moving forward.

Press Association reporter Simon Peach has revealed that the England camp has changed their perimeter fence in the hope that media members will not be able to get as clear a view of goings-on at training.

England were always expected to come out on top against Tunisia and they’ll be heavy favourites over Panama on Sunday too.

Southgate will hope that he will be able to keep his plans for the crucial final group game against Belgium under wraps but, as we’ve found out, reporters can be wily.