England boss Gareth Southgate happy to take Three Lions to Leeds and Wembley in June

Wednesday 10 Jan 2018
England boss Gareth Southgate has lined up his final two preparation games ahead of this summer's World Cup in Russia

Gareth Southgate says he’s looking forward to taking England on the road, as the Three Lions make their final preparations for this summer’s World Cup.

England take on Nigeria at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 2 June, before Southgate’s men head north to face Costa Rica at Elland Road in Leeds five days later on Thursday 7 June.

England v Nigeria
  • Senior Men's International
  • 5.15pm, Saturday 2 June 2018
  • Wembley Stadium connected by EE

And following the success of the Euro 2016 warm-up games held in Sunderland and Manchester two years ago, the Three Lions boss believes his squad will receive a good send-off from both West Yorkshire and their regular home at Wembley.

“All of the feedback from the team before Euro 2016 was really positive, the players enjoyed it and it was definitely well received by the public,” he said.

“We’re immensely proud to play the majority of our matches at Wembley as our national stadium and it’s always special.

“Equally, it’s nice when we have an opportunity to take the team on the road. We have a huge following in Yorkshire with large numbers of our members and travelling support coming from that area.

“Having been to Manchester and the north east last time, it’s nice to be able to go to Yorkshire for a different experience for everybody.”

With both Nigeria and Costa Rica also heading to Russia this summer, the African and Central American nations will offer contrasting styles for the team to face.

England will face Tunisia, Panama and Belgium in their World Cup group games, which will offer their own unique tests once the competition begins so Southgate is happy with the calibre of opposition that will be visiting.

“We’ve mostly played European opposition up to now and the Brazil game acted as a reminder that we need to challenge ourselves in different ways as a team,” he explained.

England v Costa Rica
  • Senior Men's International
  • 8pm, Thursday 7 June 2018
  • Elland Road, Leeds United AFC

“We’re going into a World Cup where we will play African and Central American opposition so we get that with the games against Nigeria and Costa Rica but it’s not just about the games we’ve got in the group but hopefully beyond that as well.

“We want to expose the team to different styles and different experiences.”

Ticket details for both games including pricing and sale dates will be confirmed in due course, but visit EnglandSupportersClub.comand sign up to be the first to hear news and to access priority tickets in an exclusive pre-sale.

Southgate’s men are next in action in March when they face the Netherlands at the Amsterdam ArenA on Friday 23 March (7.45pm kick-off) and Italy at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday 27 March (8pm kick-off).

Click here to buy tickets for England v Italy, which are available to buy from just £20 adults and £10 for kids.

By FA Staff