Sport

England gear up for World Cup with friendlies

England gear up for World Cup with friendlies”

He begins the process of fine-tuning his World Cup starting line-up today, when England host Nigeria at Wembley, with one more opportunity - against Costa Rica next Thursday - to see his team in action before they jet off to Russian Federation.

With the space vacated by Alli and Lingard, and their markers dragged out of position, the England captain had the chance to either pick out a teammate or go for goal himself and was rewarded with his eighth goal in his last seven England appearances five minutes before the break.

Reports on the NFF official Twitter handle on Wednesday had quoted Coach Rohr as saying that he was willing to wait and see if the player could make a late push for the World Cup in Russian Federation.

Uzoho reacted nervously when John Stones glanced a header at his feet and Brian Idowu produced a courageous, last-ditch lunge to deny Ashley Young. Led by midfielder John Obi Mikel, Nigeria is ranked No. 47 in the world by Federation Internationale de Football Association, but boasts young attacking talent that can challenge England, which is seeking to anoint its No. 1 goalkeeper for the summer.

According to him, the Super Eagles, who are losing 0-2 at half time, are playing at below 40 per cent of their strength against the Three Lions.

This bold selection energised England's play in both attack and defence.

England boss Gary Southgate is likely to start the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard although Raheem Sterling is a huge doubt after arriving in camp late.

"I've told the players what we're looking for in these two matches and haven't told them the team yet". "Nigeria are playing at 30-40%".

Within two minutes they were back in the game.

Jordan Henderson's absence - he and Liverpool team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold have been given extra time off following their Champions League heartbreak - creates an obvious gap. Hopefully, we will get one over them on Saturday. Here, we look at the talking points from the contest.

Gareth Southgate's charges were comfortable on the ball and were using the pace of Sterling up front while Gernot Rohr's men were disorganised and gave England too much respect. It is a system Southgate has experimented with previously and one he could employ in Russian Federation, particularly against Tunisia and Panama, when the onus will be on England to break down their opponents.

Sterling went in the book for taking an unnecessary tumble in the box and Eric Dier rose to head wide as England sought to reassert themselves.



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