Big Match Breakdown: England v Nigeria
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing