Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

France FRA 2

Australia AUS 1

REPORT

Argentina ARG 1

Iceland ISL 1

REPORT

Peru PER 0

Denmark DNK 1

REPORT

Croatia CRO 2

Nigeria NGA 0

REPORT

Costa Rica CRI 0

Serbia SRB 1

REPORT

Germany GER 0

Mexico MEX 1

REPORT

Brazil BRA 1

Switzerland SUI 1

REPORT

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Belgium BEL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Senegal SEN

Russia RUS

Egypt EGY

Portugal POR

Morocco MAR

Uruguay URY

Saudi Arabia SAU

Iran IRN

Spain ESP

Denmark DNK

Australia AUS

France FRA

Peru PER

Argentina ARG

Croatia CRO

Brazil BRA

Costa Rica CRI

Nigeria NGA

Iceland ISL

Serbia SRB

Switzerland SUI

Belgium BEL

Tunisia TUN

South Korea KOR

Mexico MEX

Germany GER

Sweden SWE

England ENG

Panama PAN

Japan JPN

Senegal SEN

Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Home Sport Football

England v Nigeria – talking points

The key issues ahead of the match.

England host Nigeria in their penultimate World Cup warm-up on Saturday.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the key issues ahead of the match.

Who gets the gloves?

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Joe Hart, left, is out of the picture for England, leaving either Jordan Pickford, centre, and Jack Butland, right, to battle it out for number one spot (Mike Egerton/PA)

Gareth Southgate has yet to name his number one for the tournament but, with the vastly-experienced Joe Hart now jettisoned, time is running short to let his preferred candidate settle in the side. Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland are thought to be in a head-to-head battle in front of the uncapped Nick Pope and whoever starts this game must be in pole position. The pair have played just nine England matches between them – Butland responsible for seven of those – meaning now is no time to play coy over the final selection.

Captain Kane

Having rotated the armband throughout his tenure, Southgate has settled on Harry Kane for the tournament, edging out the claims of Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson. He has scored five times in his four previous outings as skipper, suggesting he is not weighed down by the role, but now would be the perfect time for a classic ‘captain’s performance’. Kane will be the figurehead and focal point in Russia so it is vital he arrives in good form.

Chances to impress

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Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold looks set to be rested (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The staggered ending to the season means workload and fatigue are likely to figure high in team selection. Liverpool pair Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold will play no part having been granted time off following the Champions League, while the FA Cup finalists from Manchester United and Chelsea may be treated with kid gloves after their own extra exertions. That could mean opportunity knocks for other members of the squad who have found themselves further down the pecking order in previous get togethers.

Sterling in the spotlight

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The controversial tattoo on Raheem Sterling’s leg (Nick Potts/PA)

In Raheem Sterling, England have a versatile, Premier League title-winning player coming off the back of his most prolific season in front of goal. Everything should be pointing towards a defining summer with the national team. But the front-page treatment of the gun tattoo on his right leg has once again weighed the talented forward down with unconnected criticisms. How much the row has affected him, or otherwise, may become apparent over 90 minutes.

Tunisia tips

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England face Tunisia in the World Cup group stages (Sean Dempsey/PA)

The age old policy of arranging friendlies who are geographically close to tournament opponents continues to be rolled out around the globe – see Panama lining up Northern Ireland as their Three Lions proxies earlier this week. Nigeria, therefore, represent stand-ins for England’s Group G African opponents Tunisia. Expect to see some hints about Southgate’s proposed tactics for that tournament curtain-raiser, in terms of tactics, system and style.

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