England line up Nigeria, Costa Rica for World Cup warm-ups

Nigeria's coach Gernot Rohr| AFP

The Super Eagles play Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in Group D at the World Cup, the Three Lions are up against Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G in Russian Federation.

The English Football Association announced on Wednesday that they have arranged for two friendly games against Nigeria and Costa Rica in June before the team's participation in the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

Costa Rica have been chosen to replicate the test that Gareth Southgate's side will face when they confront Panama in Russian Federation, and the match will be played on Thursday, June 7.

In the same vein Gernot Rohr's men, who were drawn in Group D, begin their World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 16, before games against Iceland and Argentina.

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He also confirmed his side would confront Central American side Costa Rica on June 6 and noted that he carefully chose the matches because of the pedigree of the two teams. "We will be able to test our readiness for the World Cup when we meet the Three Lions at Wembley", the 64 year-old said.

England have played twice before at Leeds' 37,890-capacity Elland Road - a 2-1 defeat to Italy in March 2002 and a 3-3 draw with Sweden in June 1995. Certainly, it is going to be a big match, between two countries of remarkable historical affinity and similarities.

Describing the Gareth Southgate-tutored English side as presently constituted as a very strong side, Rohr who recently said only players who have enough playing time with their clubs will make his team said the Wembley encounter would help him test the readiness of his squad.

Akinwunmi added that the NFF made a decision to be strategic in its choice of opponents for the Super Eagles leading to the World Cup.

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