Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

International Friendly Report: England v Nigeria 02 June 2018

International Friendly Report: England v Nigeria 02 June 2018

England beat Nigeria 2-1 in a World Cup warm-up match at Wembley on Saturday.

England are in Group G along with Tunisia, Belgium and Panama.

Meanwhile, England's opening World Cup opponents Tunisia continued their preparations for Russian Federation 2018 on Friday, with a draw against Turkey.

He took to Twitter to reveal what he really thought of this England side.

"I had a decision to make whether to play him [Sterling] after turning up late but, actually, that wasn't a decision after he started to come under fire from every other direction", Southgate said. Their introduction brought flair to the game; better stability in midfield, better flow of pass and a more decent defensive line.

The Manchester City star - who netted 18 Premier League goals for the 2017-18 champions - teed up Ashley Young for another England chance in the 19th minute, but his close-range effort was blocked and smuggled to safety.

In the first half, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard and Gary Cahill all put in impressive shifts, though Cahill was the only one of this trio to carry his performance into the second period.

With no Liverpool players in the starting line-up due to their involvement in last weekend's Champions League final, Eric Dier will play at the base of midfield.

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But the game represented little as a true test for England who benefited from a string of first-half errors by Nigeria.

For Spurs, he has willing runners beyond him in Alli, Christian Eriksen and Heung-min Son and it could well be that, with Sterling as the furthest man forward, England will see Kane at his very best as the Three Lions look to impress under Southgate.

But England head for Russian Federation with the reassurance of knowing they have one of the best strikers in the world in Tottenham's Kane.

A gun tattoo on Sterling's right leg became the subject of national debate over the past week, leading Southgate to throw a protective arm around the 23-year-old, who started the 2-1 win at Wembley.

Southgate said England had failed to work out how the visitors had changed their approach at halftime, something that might cost them dearly if repeated in Russian Federation.

And critics have been raving over the play of England's youngsters in recent months.

"Nigeria are playing at 30-40%".

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