ENGLAND CONFIRM NIGERIA FRIENDLY
England have confirmed a friendly against Nigeria scheduled for June 2, ahead of Russia 2018 World Cup.
The tuneup encounter will take place at the Wembley Stadium five days before Gareth Southgate’s men travel to Leeds to take on Costa Rica at Elland Road.
The Three Lions tactician hinged his choice of the three-time African champions and the Central American side on the fact that they would be facing teams [Tunisia and Panama] from the regions in Group G at the global showpiece, hence the need to book the ties.
“We’ve mostly played European opposition up to now and the Brazil game acted as a reminder that we need to challenge ourselves in different ways as a team,” Southgate told the FA website.
“We’re going into a World Cup where we will play African and Central American opposition so we get that with the games against Nigeria and Costa Rica but it’s not just about the games we’ve got in the group but hopefully beyond that as well.
“We want to expose the team to different styles and different experiences.”
Alongside their African and Central American oppositions, England will take on fellow European powerhouse, Belgium while Nigeria, in Group D, will battle Argentina, Croatia and debutant Iceland.
Gernot Rohr’s side started their World Cup preparation on a high after handing a 4-2 defeat to La Albiceleste in November.