Lingard to start for England in Nigeria friendly

World Cup places up for grabs says England boss Southgate

Two first-half goals was all England needed to walk away 2-1 winners over Nigeria in an global friendly on Saturday.

Nigeria have a travelling squad of 25 players, however, this will be cut to 23 players on Monday's deadline.

The fact he feels no real affinity for his father is reflected in his decision to his forename on the back of his shirt.

Sterling's troubles weren't quite over and he was booked for his crude attempt to win a penalty when Uzoho came off his line to block the winger's run.

The Wearsider starts at Wembley ahead of Jack Butland and Nick Pope, with Southgate having selected a team that is likely to be extremely close to the one that will kick off England's Group G opener against Tunisia.

All four have been axed from the World Cup squad as he gambled on several younger players.

- England are unbeaten in 18 encounters against African nations (W12 D6), with this the third time they've faced Nigeria - winning twice and drawing once.




But Nigeria - who have also qualified for the World Cup finals - are far from pushovers, with a team including Premier League stars past and present such as Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel.

"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.

Such belief from the captain ought to inspire Southgate's side in Russian Federation.

He was withdrawn 20 minutes later as England laboured, but the first half was a reminder that Sterling remains a key component of Southgate's side - and England will need him on form and firing in Russian Federation if they are to have a successful summer. What is more important is how well they gel as a team and how confidently they get to grips with the tournament.

Kyle Walker's selection on the right side of the back three can be regarded as experimental but Southgate rightly points out that this is often where he ends up playing for Manchester City, adding the vital quality of raw pace that is lacking elsewhere in England's defensive ranks.

Nigeria and England will today revive their rivalry in what has been described as Nigeria's biggest challenge heading to the FIFA World Cup 2018.

The Super Eagles will hope to improve in the last warm up game against Czech Republic on June 6, while England are due to finish their preparations for the World Cup with a friendly against Costa Rica in Leeds on June 7. The players want to do well - you can see from how they play, the change in system to five at the back.

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