By 90Min
June 01, 2018

England host Nigeria at Wembley Stadium on Saturday in the first of two World Cup warm-up games, as the squad prepare to travel to Russia later this month.

The games, against Nigeria and Costa Rica, present Gareth Southgate with one last chance to experiment with his squad and iron out any concerns before they board the plane.

Team news has already emerged ahead of the game against Nigeria, so below is a look at that, plus a classic encounter, key battles and more.


Classic Encounter

Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Okay, so this one is hardly a classic. Sorry.

The two teams have only faced each other on two previous occasions, and only one of those goals saw a goal. It was scored by England's David Platt in a 1-0 friendly back in 1994.

The game was played in front of 37,196 fans at Wembley Stadium. The only other time the teams met was a 0-0 draw in the World Cup group stages in 2002.


Key Battles


Dele Alli vs Wilfred Ndidi

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Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has been on good form for the Foxes this season, breaking up play and initiating attacks from his deep-lying midfield position.

If selected, he could face a stern test against Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli. The Spurs man will feel at home, having played at Wembley throughout the season for both club and country.

This battle will be an exciting one, and could hold the key to the result on Saturday.


Danny Rose vs Victor Moses

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Another pair of Premier League stars will be going up against each other in this tie.

Chelsea's Victor Moses is expected to start on the right of midfield for Nigeria, and could face Tottenham wing back Danny Rose. Like Alli, Rose has also become accustomed to playing at Wembley this season.

Two pacey players going head to head, looking to exploit the spaces left by their counterpart's dangerous attacking runs.


Team News

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According to the Evening Standard, Tottenham duo Eric Dier and Kieran Trippier are both set to start the match on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold have been absent from England training recently, and will also miss the match having been given extended leave following the Champions League final.

Gareth Southgate told a press conference on Friday that Jesse Lingard will start the game and he has no hesitation in starting Lingard and Alli together, despite their similar styles. Southgate also said that Phil Jones will miss game as his wife is expecting a baby in the next few days.

For Nigeria, they have several England-based players available who could make this match difficult for the Three Lions - including Wilfred Ndidi, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho.


Predicted Lineups

England: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Tripper, Dier, Lingard, Rose; Sterling, Kane, Vardy.

Nigeria: Ezenwa; Shehu, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Idowu; Obi Mikel, Ndidi; Moses, Onazi, Iwobi; Iheanacho.


Prediction

AFP/GettyImages

Nigeria have several players with Premier League experience in their squad, which could make this game more difficult for England than expected.

Leicester duo Ndidi and Iheanacho are fantastic players on their day, but Foxes Harry Maguire may be key in dealing with the latter.

The atmosphere in England training recently is said to have been relaxed, hopefully paving the way for an impressive team display at Wembley on Saturday, resulting in a victory.

Predicted Scoreline: England 2-1 Nigeria

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)