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Big Match Breakdown: England v Nigeria

Dave Burin | 2 June 2018

Three Lions continue the World Cup build-up

England’s preparations for the World Cup in Russia heat up with Saturday’s friendly against fellow WC competitors Nigeria.

Gareth Southgate’s men head into this clash on the back of an eight-game unbeaten run, which included March’s victory away to the Netherlands.

They’ll be aiming to continue that streak against a powerful and pacy Super Eagles side.

The Coral News Team have all the info ahead of this international tussle, with another Big Match Breakdown.

Head-to-Head

This will be the third meeting between England and Nigeria, and the first for over 15 years.

The inaugural clash came in a 1994 friendly at Wembley, with David Platt bagging the only goal of the game.

Eight years later, the pair faced off in a World Cup group stage match which ended 0-0. The result saw the Three Lions miss out on top spot, while the Super Eagles picked up their only point of a disappointing tournament.

Likely XIs

Southgate has leaned towards a back three in recent games – and it’s paid dividends. His side have conceded a solitary goal in their last six outings.

The Coral News Team are predicting a back three of Harry Maguire, John Stones and Kyle Walker. Up front, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are the likely starters.

For the West African outfit, the centre-back pairing of William Troost-Ekong and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Leon Balogun are almost a given. Captain Jon Obi Mikel is could well start in an experienced midfield.

England v Nigeria (BMB)

Key Battles

For England, the big issue will be breaking down Nigeria’s strong centre-back pairing. Having pulled off recent clean sheets against the likes of Poland and Zambia, they’ll provide a solid test of the likes of Kane and Vardy.

Nigeria could struggle against a Three Lions side with plenty of width and creativity. The likes of Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling will need to be marshalled by Brian Idowu and Ola Aina at full-back.

Match Odds

In the match betting, England are 2/5 favourites. Meanwhile, the Draw is 29/10 and it’s 7/1 for a Nigeria win.

With none of England’s last six games producing more than two goals, it’s 7/10 for Under 2.5 Goals. Meanwhile, a Three Lions Win to Nil is Evens.

Harry Kane has netted a sizeable chunk of England’s recent goals. He’s scored six in six, breaking the deadlock in four of those. It’s 5/6 for Kane to net Anytime, while he’s 12/5 to be First Goalscorer.

Having won three of their last six matches by a 1-0 scoreline, the hosts could well edge it by a solitary goal again. It’s 21/5 for a 1-0 England win.

Big match previews, betting tips and transfer news – Coral have it all.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing