England boss Southgate explains why Nigeria Wembley clash June 2

England boss Gareth Southgate is happy with warm-up games against Nigeria and Costa Rica

The Mirror reported on Wednesday that England will play Costa Rica at Leeds United's Elland Road ground on Thursday, June 7, which will be their final home game before leaving for Russian Federation.

Taking home games on the road away from Wembley is something England did in the build-up to Euro 2016, playing matches at Sunderland's Stadium of Light and Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.

Both matches will provide some stern competition for England as the manager finalises his preparations ahead of the tournament in Russian Federation.

Southgate had initially planned for three games in June prior to the squad's departure for Russian Federation, but sources have told ESPN FC that he has now settled on two fixtures in order to spend more time fine-tuning the team's preparations at the National Football Centre at St George's Park.

"We will be able to test our readiness for the World Cup when we meet the Three Lions at Wembley".

GK Jack Butland
GETTY GK Jack Butland

The Super Eagles, who have won the African Cup of Nations three times, are also preparing for their sixth appearance at the Federation Internationale de Football Association showpiece in June.

Nigeria are in the same group as Croatia, Iceland and old foes Argentina.

Costa Rica and England faced each other and drew 0-0 in the 2014 World Cup, before the Central Americans made the quarter finals and were knocked out on penalties by the Netherlands.

These two clashes will follow on from England's double-header in March.

Southgate's men already had two friendlies scheduled for the coming months, matches in March against Holland in Amsterdam and Italy at Wembley.


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