How England friendly will help Eagles

Posted on Jan 14 2018 - 1:08am by admin

Former internationals say the Super Eagles friendly game on the eve of the Russia 2018 World Cup will help tremendously in preparing the team ahead of the Mundial.

On Wednesday, the Nigeria Football Federation confirmed the tie against the Three Lions.

Nigeria will play England at Wembley on June 2 as part of coach Gernot Rohr’s preparations for the World Cup. The Eagles first two matches at the World Cup are against European opposition Croatia and Iceland.

Rohr’s side also face Argentina in their final Group D game.

The match will be only the third between both countries are meeting at senior level, and will serve as the Eagles’ final preparatory game for the World Cup finals in Russia, with their first match against Croatia in Kaliningrad coming exactly two weeks after.

Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup star Justice Christopher described the friendly as a good test for the three-time African champions.

“That’s a nice game and I’m happy it’s coming very close to the World Cup. It’s a Grade-A match which will help the coach decide which players to use at the World Cup, and also give him the opportunity to know the strengths and weaknesses of the players at that point,” Christopher, who featured in the Eagles’ goalless affair against England at the 2002 World, said.

“The coach should try out the first 11 players he intends using at the World Cup for the friendly. That way, he can adjust if there’s any need to make changes. It’s a very good test for the Eagles.”

Tunisia 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner Edema Fuludu said the game would serve as a big psychological boost for the Eagles ahead of the Mundial, depending on how they prepare before they clash.

“Both teams are World Cup bound and England are a very strong side, so it’s a Grade-A game which will prepare the Eagles psychologically before their trip to Russia,” the former Turkey-based midfielder said.

“The outcome of that match will determine the team spirit in the camp of the Eagles before the World Cup, so it’s an important game.”

German Rohr believes the friendly encounter will test his squad’s readiness for the World Cup.

“This is good news for me and the entire team,” Rohr told the NFF website.

 “England is a very strong team presently and I believe they will give us a very good match. We will be able to test our readiness for the World Cup when we meet the Three Lions at Wembley.”

England will also face Costa Rica at Leeds United’s ground on June 7 before their first match at the World Cup against Tunisia on June 18.

The Three Lions also face Costa Rica’s central American neighbours Panama in Russia, with Belgium completing Group G.

England manager Gareth Southgate said, “We’re going into a World Cup where we will play African and Central American opposition, so we get that with the games against Nigeria and Costa Rica, but it’s not just about the games we’ve got in the group but hopefully beyond that as well.

“We want to expose the team to different styles and different experiences.”

Before the games against Nigeria and Costa Rica, England will play Netherlands and Italy in March.

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