England’s World Cup preparation plans are nearing completion

England will face Nigeria and Costa Rica in their final World Cup warm-up games in June before heading to Russia.

Gareth Southgate’s side will play Nigeria at Wembley Stadium on Saturday June 2 and then travel north where they will host Costa Rica at Elland Road, Leeds United’s ground, on Thursday June 7.

England will base themselves at the National Football Centre at St George’s Park for their preparations. They do not play their first World Cup Group G game, against Tunisia in Volgograd, until Monday June 18 so are likely to head to their training camp outside St Petersburg later than other nations for the finals.

Costa Rica, who like Nigeria will also be at the finals, have been selected by Southgate because England face another central American side, Panama, who are playing in their first World Cup, in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday June 24.

Costa Rica won England’s group at Brazil 2014, being held to a 0-0 draw by Roy Hodgson’s team in Belo Horizonte in the final ‘dead rubber’ tie after England had already been knocked out, before suffering a penalty shoot-out elimination against Holland in the quarter-finals.

England’s dejected players walk off the pitch.

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