England may play Nigeria in preperation for World Cup

Nigeria (top) and England
Nigeria (top) and England

ENGLAND are considering playing Nigeria in one of two warm-up matches for the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate is looking at the best way to prepare his players for Russia 2018 ahead of their opening game against Tunisia.

And talks have been held with the Nigerian FA over the two countries facing each other in the first week of June.

Southgate is spending the next couple of weeks finalising his plans to ensure his squad is fully fit and sharp by the time they face Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18.

While most of the preparations will be done at St George’s Park, the England boss is yet to decide whether the team could benefit from a few days together overseas.

All options are still being considered, with England having to be in Russia now less than five days before their first match.

Since the World Cup draw was held in Moscow last week, officials have spoken to several other nations about possible warm-up matches.

Nigeria are one of those, but as yet the FA and Southgate have not made any decision about who would be best to face.

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Full planning could only begin once each team knew their fixtures, with some having to report for the tournament almost a week before others.

Nigerian Football Federation general secretary Mohammed Sanusi said: “We plan to play a friendly against England in June, before the World Cup.”

Sanusi added the venue and other details of the game were yet to be decided.

The Super Eagles, managed by German Gernot Rohr, begin their Group D quest against Croatia in Kaliningrad before facing Iceland and Argentina.

Captained by ex-Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, their squad is set to include Premier League stars such as Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi and Ahmed Musa.

England have met Nigeria twice before, winning 1-0 at Wembley in 1994 and drawing 0-0 in Osaka during the 2002 World Cup.

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