England kick off preparations for 2018 FIFA World Cup with a pair of international friendlies, starting at Wembley Stadium against Nigeria.

Both teams comfortably topped their qualifying competitions, making this an interesting test of where both countries are at heading to Russia.

Team news

Phil Jones

Phil Jones is set to miss this friendly for personal reasons.

England could be without defender, Phil Jones for this clash after the Manchester United player missed training. 

He was away for personal reasons but is expected back for the Costa Rica friendly on Thursday. 

Despite having spent less time training with the national squad due to club duty in Champions League Final, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson are expected to feature here. 

Nigeria has no absence or injury concerns to report.

Form

England enter this game unbeaten in last four friendlies despite clinching just one win in that time. 

If look back across whole season, the Three Lions have won five of their eight matches with four of those games being won by a one goal margin. 

Nigeria meanwhile have avoided defeat in just two of their last five games, with three being friendlies.

Their only clean sheet came in a 1-0 away win over Poland in March but drew 1-1 on Monday with DR Congo. 

Stat Attack

  • England are unbeaten against Nigeria in two previous meetings, winning a home friendly in 1994 before drawing 0-0 at 2002 World Cup. 
  • Five Nigerian players play for English clubs and have scored 17 goals between them (excluding Leon Balogun who signed for Brighton after season finished). 

Prediction 

Given Nigeria’s inconsistent form entering this game, there will be one simple winner and a couple of goals.

Prediction: England 2-0 Nigeria

Result: England 2-1 Nigeria

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