England vs Nigeria preview, betting tips and prediction

Harry Kane - England
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England start their World Cup preparations at Wembley

England to win and BTTS @ 11/4 with Paddy Power

England are closing in on the first major tournament of their new era under Gareth Southgate, and the Three Lions must use the two upcoming friendlies against Nigeria and Costa Rica to get their house in order. Expectations are not at the same level as they have been in previous years, but fans will be hoping the young England team will impress in Russia and grow together for years to come. Southgate has gradually implemented his ideas and approach on the team, playing three defenders with wingbacks, and he more or less knows his first eleven. Only he will know whether he will set up with his strongest side or give squad players, such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, a run out and a chance to impress before the competitive games start in just a couple of weeks. All eyes will be on who starts in goal, though, with Everton’s Jordan Pickford the current favourite.

Nigeria will be far from pushovers at Wembley; they too have a young squad full of talented, energetic and skilful players. Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is their captain, with current Blues winger Victor Moses and Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho also playing prominent roles in the side. The Super Eagles face Argentina, Iceland and Croatia in the group stage in Russia, having already beaten La Albiceleste 4-2 in Moscow in November last year. We are backing England to win this one, but only just.

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Harry Kane is the obvious favourite to score anytime and he is odds on with Paddy Power, but if you are looking for value, then Raheem Sterling is a better option. The Manchester City winger has had a rough week with negative media headlines, and can be found at 7/4. Iheanacho scored a stunning goal at Wembley on the final day of the Premier League season against Tottenham, and he will be Nigeria’s biggest threat at 7/2.

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