England plays friendly against Nigeria before jetting off to the World Cup

04 June, 2018, 00:20 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Adepoju How Super Eagles Nearly Beat England At Wembley In 1994

I won't say it was easy, but I am happy that I was part of the team and Nige-ria was part of the finalists that qualified for the Mundial in Korea/Japan 2002.

Jordan Pickford's appearance in a near full-strength starting XI suggested he will travel as number one ahead of Jack Butland, while Kieran Trippier hinted his dead ball skills could be a secret weapon in Russian Federation - but Southgate's concerns may now be over his creative axis.

His peripatetic wanderings after his time in France saw him first coach in Africa a decade ago in Tunisia with Etoile Sahel, before he took charge of Gabon when they hosted the 2012 African Nations Cup.

England kicked off their World Cup preparations with a 2-1 friendly win over Nigeria, but Raheem Sterling ended a troubled week on a low note as the Manchester City star was booked for diving.

Gareth Southgate will likely field either Jordan Pickford or Jack Butland as his number one in Russian Federation this summer with Nick Pope third choice for the Three Lions.

No goals though would come despite the promising spells, leaving England to walk away with the victory in their penultimate pre-World Cup warm-up showdown.

The welcome victory for Gareth Southgate's Three Lions' came in their penultimate warm-up match before the global jamboree in Russian Federation starts on June 14.


England's Harry Kane (left) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with Dele Alli during the International Friendly match at Wembley Stadium, London.

The FC Crotone striker said although the game would be a tough one, he believes Nigeria has what it takes to put up a good showing against the former world champions. Controversial tattoos aside, the only thing the press can really talk about is the amount of talent in the young England football squad.

Nigeria was presented with some half-chances, but only Victor Moses could test Jordan Pickford, with two shots from a wide angle, as Pickford saved comfortably.

As well as easing any collective nerves, it was a satisfying moment for the veteran of the squad - who was axed by Southgate as recently as March and had been sweating over his place on the plane.

Arsenal's Alex Iwobi is among the players who modelled the kit, which was first revealed back in February, along with Leicester's Wilfried Ndidi, who wore a branded bucket hat and jacket for the promotional photos. His early goal was a positive start for the Three Lions and he helped organise England's defence and ensured they didn't capitulate after conceding after 47 minutes.

GARETH SOUTHGATE, England coach, on what he is looking for in his team's first-choice goalkeeper.

As expected, captain Harry Kane leads the England attack with Jesse Lingard also in support, while Dele Alli has been given the nod in the centre of midfield with Eric Dier.

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