England drops Ghana to play Nigeria in World Cup warm-up

England has confirmed an international friendly with Nigeria at the Wembley Stadium ahead of the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

According to a report by The Independent, the African powerhouse will be one of two opponents for England, the other likely to be against Latin American opposition, before they depart for Russia.

It added that the English Football Association wanted England to face African opposition ahead of their World Cup opener against Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18, adding that it considered facing Ghana or Senegal, who it could face in the last-16 depending on their standings in the groups.

“But England have chosen Nigeria, with the popular following the Nigerian national team thought to have been a factor behind the decision.

“England will make the announcement official once their second June friendly has been confirmed,” the paper said.

The FA contacted its Nigeria counterpart over a possible friendly in the first week of June prior to the World Cup draw.

After playing the two friendlies, Gareth Southgate and his squad will fly to Russia and to their training base in Repino, a town just north of St. Petersburg, towards the Finnish border. Then they will head to Volgograd to face Tunisia, Nizhny Novgorod for Panama and Kaliningrad to play Belgium on June 28.

Nigeria had earlier secured a March 23 date with Poland, which is also one of the teams that qualified for the World Cup.

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr had earlier stated that playing the Eastern European country was key for his team’s quest for a win in their Group D Russia 2018 World Cup first game against Croatia.

Nigeria is in the same group with Argentina, Iceland and the Croatians.





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