Costa Rica, England, FIFA World Cup, Leagues, Nigeria, Story

Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes break down the record of candidates to begin between the sticks for England on the World Cup.
Stewart Robson feels England lucked out and acquired a reasonably simple group that comprises Belgium, Panama and Tunisia.

England will face Costa Rica of their closing World Cup warm-up sport in June after Gareth Southgate handpicked the Central American nation as good preparation for the Russia 2018 conflict towards Panama in Nizhny Novgorod.

Costa Rica topped England’s group at Brazil 2014, being held to a Zero-Zero draw by Roy Hodgson’s workforce in Belo Horizonte, earlier than struggling a penalty shootout elimination towards the Netherlands within the quarterfinals.

And with England as a consequence of face World Cup debutants Panama of their second Group G sport on June 24, supervisor Southgate has secured a pleasant towards the Costa Ricans at Leeds United’s Elland Street stadium on June 7.

England will play two warm-up video games in June earlier than flying to Russia, with the Soccer Affiliation additionally confirming a Wembley pleasant towards Nigeria on June 2.

The England supervisor stated: “We have principally performed European opposition to date and the Brazil sport acted as a reminder that we have to problem ourselves in several methods as a workforce.

“We’re going right into a World Cup the place we are going to play African and Central American opposition so we get that with the video games towards Nigeria and Costa Rica but it surely’s not simply in regards to the video games we have got within the group however hopefully past that as effectively. We need to expose the workforce to totally different kinds and totally different experiences.”

On taking part in at Elland Street, he added: “We’re immensely proud to play the vast majority of matches at Wembley as our nationwide stadium and it is at all times particular. Equally, it is good when we now have a possibility to take the workforce on the street. We’ve an enormous following in Yorkshire with giant numbers of our members and travelling assist coming from that space.”

Southgate’s workforce, who made it to the finals with an unbeaten report through the qualifying marketing campaign, are as a consequence of play Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 27 earlier than dealing with fellow World Cup absentees Italy at Wembley 4 days later.

Southgate had initially deliberate for 3 video games in June previous to the squad’s departure for Russia, however sources have advised ESPN FC that he has now settled on two fixtures with a view to spend extra time fine-tuning the workforce’s preparations on the Nationwide Soccer Centre at St George’s Park.

England, in the meantime, will uncover their opponents within the inaugural UEFA Nations League when the draw is made for the event in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Jan. 24.

Mark Ogden is a senior soccer author for ESPN FC. Comply with him @MarkOgden_

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