England have announced they will play at least two friendlies in preparation for this summer’s World cup finals in Russia.
They will welcome African side Nigeria to Wembley on 2nd June, before facing Costa Rica at Elland Road, the home of Leeds United 5 days later on June 7th.
With the first game of their world cup campaign against Tunisia on 18th June, these will be two vital games for Head Coach Gareth Southgate to finalise his team before heading out to Russia where they will also take on Panama and Belgium in Group G.
On announcing the fixtures 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.”
Although the National team has previously played friendlies outside of London, with Manchester United and Sunderland hosting games in the build up to Euro 16, this will be their first visit to Yorkshire since 2002, when they were defeated by Italy 1-2 at Elland Road.
These are not the only games England will play prior to the World Cup as they have already arranged to take on the Netherlands and Italy during the International break in March.