As it happenedended1527969386

England vs Nigeria - World Cup 2018 warm-up: as it happened

England 2-1 Nigeria: Reaction from the World Cup warm-up at Wembley

Saturday 02 June 2018 19:49
England v Nigeria: International friendly preview

England’s World Cup 2018 campaign starts here, when Nigeria, clad in their dazzling new kit which sold out within minutes of its release on Friday, arrive at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate has insisted the team he names will not necessarily be the one that starts the World Cup against Tunisia on 18th June but there are places still up for grabs.

Jordan Pickford starts between the sticks with Jesse Lingard part of an attacking midfield that also includes Raheem Sterling after a controversial and headline-grabbing week.

We will have all the action right here:

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What time is kick-off?

The game will kick off at Wembley at 5.15pm BST.

Where can I watch it?

The game will be shown on ITV, with coverage starting at 5.00pm BST.


England: 2/5

Nigeria: 19/2

Odds: 62/17


Hello and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of England's first World Cup 2018 warm-up game against Nigeria at Wembley!

Join us throughout the afternoon for all the build-up before kick-off at 5.15pm BST.

Jack Austin2 June 2018 13:09

Gareth Southgate has told his England players there are still World Cup places to play for against Nigeria on Saturday.

When the full-time whistle blows at HQ there will be little more than two weeks to go until the Three Lions' tournament curtain-raiser against Tunisia in Volgograd.

And while Southgate has settled on the bulk of the XI which will start in Russia, there are still big incentives for those who impress against the Super Eagles at Wembley or versus Costa Rica at Elland Road five days later.

"I don't think these are trial matches in that a bad performance rules someone out but there are opportunities for people to really stake a claim in areas of the pitch where there is huge competition for places," he said.

Ben Burrows2 June 2018 13:35

The identity of Southgate's goalkeeper should prove telling, with Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland vying for the number one role ahead of the uncapped Nick Pope.

Pickford has played just twice for the senior side, while Butland is the grizzled veteran of the group with seven appearances.

Given that lack of experience, whoever takes the field at Wembley on Saturday must surely be in pole position to take the gloves for the Group G opener.

"That will become apparent over the next five days," was Southgate's opaque response when the goalkeeping position was raised.

"They are inexperienced in terms of senior international games but Pickford and Butland have the perfect path in terms of junior international tournaments and a lot of Premier League football under their belts."

Ben Burrows2 June 2018 13:55

There is also some jockeying for position behind captain Harry Kane.

Raheem Sterling has done enough, both with Premier League champions Manchester City and in a pair of lively England outings in March, to take one attacking slot meaning Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli could be scrapping for the other shirt.

And Lingard, who will definitely start against Nigeria, is buoyed rather than bowed by the prospect of representing his country at the highest level.

"At the moment, I don't feel any pressure. I am enjoying my football and playing freely," he said.

"As long as we believe in ourselves and the country backs us we will go out and do well. It is your nation and your country and when you get selected, it's an honour putting on the shirt."

Ben Burrows2 June 2018 14:15

Fabian Delph can expect a lengthy run-out, having snuck into the final squad despite winning the last of his nine caps back in 2015.

Southgate is keen on the Manchester City midfielder's versatility, attitude and discipline but needs to see how he fits into the England system.

Jordan Henderson's absence - he and Liverpool team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold have been given extra time off following their Champions League heartbreak - creates an obvious gap.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another who is likely to see action after impressing in his two previous appearances.

Ben Burrows2 June 2018 14:35

In defence Harry Maguire may be treated with kid gloves after sitting out training for two days this week due to a muscular issue, and Phil Jones has left the group to attend the birth of his second child.

That means a possible return for Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill, the most experienced member of the squad who earned a reprieve after being axed in March.

"There is a real competition for places in every position," said Southgate.

"We need to focus on the 23, not just the starting XI. You know where people are at physically, and people stay in if they're playing well. If players are in on reputation or name, that breeds a bit of discord.

"When you have a clear rationale, a clear understanding of how you want to play, that makes the decisions easier."

Ben Burrows2 June 2018 14:55

Gareth Southgate has backed Raheem Sterling to come through the controversy surrounding his gun tattoo and stay focused on final preparations for the World Cup.

The 23-year-old Manchester City forward has been under intense scrutiny during the past week after it emerged he had a tattoo of a gun on his right leg.

Sterling explained the new ink in an Instagram post, revealing it is a tribute to his late father.

The Football Association has supported Sterling since the body art was highlighted on The Sun's front page earlier in the week and the player trained with the tattoo on display.

Southgate was quizzed on Sterling's tattoo at his Friday afternoon press conference ahead of tonight's friendly against Nigeria at Wembley.

Ben Burrows2 June 2018 15:15

The scene is set at Wembley.

Ben Burrows2 June 2018 15:26

Having rotated the armband throughout his tenure, Southgate has settled on Harry Kane for the tournament, edging out the claims of Liverpool's Jordan Henderson.

He has scored five times in his four previous outings as skipper, suggesting he is not weighed down by the role, but now would be the perfect time for a classic 'captain's performance'.

Kane will be the figurehead and focal point in Russia so it is vital he arrives in good form.

Ben Burrows2 June 2018 15:35

Here we go.

Nigeria, clearly not ones for rules or red tape, have revealed their team with kick off still an hour and a half away.

As expected it's a strong side with Arsenal's Alex Iwobi and Chelsea's Victor Moses among those selected.

Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel will captain the Super Eagles this evening.

Ben Burrows2 June 2018 15:47

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