England to play Nigeria and Costa Rica at Wembley and Leeds in World Cup warm-ups

Wednesday 10 Jan 2018
England will return to Leeds United for a third time, following previous games with Sweden and Italy

England will face two fellow 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists ahead of this summer’s tournament in Russia.

The Three Lions will host Nigeria at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 2 June (5.15pm kick-off) before moving north to Leeds United’s Elland Road to welcome Costa Rica on Thursday 7 June (8pm kick-off).

Both opponents will provide important tests for Gareth Southgate’s squad as they finalise preparations for group games with Tunisia, Panama and Belgium at the World Cup.

And as well as a send-off at Wembley, the football hotbed of Yorkshire will also have an opportunity to cheer on England in a senior men’s international for the first time since 2002 and following the exciting reception the Three Lions received in Manchester and Sunderland two years ago ahead of Euro 2016.

England have met Nigeria on two previous occasions at senior level, a 1-0 friendly victory at Wembley in 1994 when David Platt scored the winner, before sharing a goalless draw at the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan.

Three Lions striker Daniel Sturridge in action against Costa Rica at the last meeting in 2014


The three-time African Cup of Nations champions are preparing for their sixth World Cup finals having been drawn in a group with Argentina, Iceland and Croatia. 

Meanwhile, England’s only previous meeting with Costa Rica came at the last World Cup in Brazil and ended in a goalless draw in Belo Horizonte. The 2014 quarter-finalists have been pitted against Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia in what will be their fifth finals.

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By FA Staff