England begin their first of two pre-World Cup friendlies against Nigeria

Last updated: May 30, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 17:15pm
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Coverage: ITV
Home Team Form: WDDWD
Away Team Form: DWWLD
Last Meeting: Nigeria 0 – 0 England
Competition: International friendly

England have just two matches left before the World Cup begins for real in two weeks time. The first of those and England’s last at Wembley before the tournament is against Nigeria. Like England, the Super Eagles have a young and promising squad that could pull off a surprise or two in Russia.

There’s talk of a new look England and once again confidence has grown in the build up to the competition, as Southgate has followed his mantra of picking players that are inform and playing for their clubs. But will things really be different? England might be unbeaten in their last eight – including draws with Brazil, Italy and Germany – but they’ve drawn three of the last four. Scoring still seems to be a problem too, as England haven’t scored more than once in any of the last six games.

England are the favourites going into this one and have a good record in friendlies when the pressure is off. Southgate will likely be fielding close to what he feels is his strongest eleven. Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold will likely not start after competing in last Saturday’s Champions League final, while England’s formation is not set in stone. Southgate will probably play a back three with Kyle Walker on the right hand side, meaning there may be a wing-back spot for Kieran Trippier. Up front, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane will be key to England’s chances, while players like Jesse Lingard and Fabian Delph have had strong seasons and could get a chance here.

Nigeria will also be at the World Cup and are a team fancied by many as dark horses. They have bags of Premier League experience among their ranks, such as Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and Kelchi Iheanacho. They haven’t been in the best of form however, after drawing to Congo and losing to Serbia in their last two matches. Look back a little further though and you’ll see what this team are capable of. A win against Poland was preceded by an epic turnaround to win 4-2 against Argentina at the end of last year.

Team News

With just this match and one more friendly before the World Cup, Southgate will surely play something like his strongest team. The biggest question is who will be first choice goalkeeper.

That will likely means starts for players like Sterling and Kane, though chances could be given to players such as Kieran Trippier.

The Nigeria team contains talented players and Premier League fans will be familiar with many of them.

Jon Obi-Mikel, Ahmed Musa, Kelchi Ihenacho and Alex Iwobi are the stars of the team and well known to Premier League fans.

Expected Line-Ups:

England (3-2-4-1): Pickford, Cahill, Maguire, Trippier, Walker, Young, Dier, Lingard, Alli, Sterling, Kane
Subs: Pope, Rose, Jones, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Rashford, Vardy, Delph
Injured: Oxlade-Chamberlain
Not available:
Nigeria (4-3-3): Uzoho, Balogun, Ebuehi, Troost-Ekong, Moses, Obi-Mikel, Onazi, Etebo, Iwobi, Musa, Iheanacho
Subs: Akpeyi, Echiéjilé, Aina, Omeruo, Ighalo, Obi, Abdullahi, Ogu
Not available:

Head to Head

Last Two Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
12/06/2002 Nigeria 0 – 0 England FIFA World Cup
16/11/1994 England 1 – 0 Nigeria International Friendly Platt 41′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Both these teams are draw specialists lately and hardly prolific scorers. England are the favourites with the bookies, which makes sense, as they are playing at home and do perhaps have the stronger team on paper. But Nigeria are dangerous and with odds of around 6/1 will be fancied by many who want to take a slight risk. But, with both managers experimenting and keen not to lose any players to injury before the World Cup starts, we think both teams will continue their run of low scoring games. Therefore, we’ll be going with under 2.5 goals, which you can get at a great price at Bet Victor.