England v Nigeria – 02.06.2018 – Betting Tip
The first of only two tests for the Three Lions ahead of the World Cup in Russia comes on Saturday afternoon when one of the most talented African sides comes to visit Wembley. Nigeria will certainly provide a strong check for the youthful English side that’ll need to work hard to dispatch the high-quality counterparts on the day. Keep reading and find out what sports betting strategies our experts have in mind for this match.
Gareth Southgate made his World Cup intensions crystal clear with the recently published squad of 23 men who are to travel to Russia this summer. England will play with three center backs and two wing backs there, just as they did in latest friendlies against Netherlands and Italy in March. This strategy, however, brought success to Southgate whose troops conceded just once in last four friendlies even though the opposition included the likes of Germany, Brazil, Netherlands and Italy along the way.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose and Ashley Young will thus be of a pivotal significance on wing-backs. With such heavily-loaded defense, it’s hard to expect goal fests in England’s matches even though they have a predator such as Harry Kane up front. The Spurs’ star man has had another extraordinary campaign in this term of the Premier League and he is expected to lead the line for the Three Lions here against Nigeria.
Overall, England head into this unbeaten in eight games across competitions and off the back of a rather dominant qualifying campaign which saw them win eight and draw two of ten matches in the group. The defensive line was rock-solid shipping just three goals in the process, while Kane mainly provided the finishing touch at the other end bagging five of team’s eighteen goals in the campaign.
The Super Eagles might be one of the most pleasant shocks in Russia, but they will have a very challenging task in a rather complicated group against the names of Argentina, Croatia and Iceland. Nevertheless, you’ll don’t want to miss out on their matches at the biggest stage as Nigeria has quite a talented squad all over the place.
Gernot Rohr’s troops proved quality by winning four and drawing two of six games in the final round of the African World Cup Qualification campaign. That’s quite a remarkable success knowing the opposition involved Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia there. Additionally, Nigeria dispatched Poland 0-1 in a friendly played in March in Warsaw, but they failed to build on it just four days later falling 0-2 to Serbia on the neutral venue of the Hive Stadium in London.
Chelsea’s Victor Moses had had an excellent season in the Premier League and he will no doubts be Nigeria’s main star in Russia and the key figure at the center of the park against England at Wembley. The team is packed with the current or former Premier League stars including Kelechi Iheanacho, Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, John Obi Mikel Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi etc.
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Head to Head and Stats
This will only be the third head to head encounter between England and Nigeria. The Three Lions won the first meeting played as a friendly back in 1994 (1-0).
The second, and much more important tie, took place at the World Cup in Korea Republic in 2002 when the teams shared spoils playing a goalless draw in the group phase. England advanced to the knockout stages as the draw against the Three Lions was the lone point Nigeria took on the tournament.
Out Tips and Predictions
It is really hard to expect a high-scoring contest based on everything written above, which is why Under 2.5 goals looks to be the best of the betting tips here. First of all, both sides will be highly motivated to get the result and boost up the confidence ahead of the World Cup challenges, which is why we believe it will be anything but a friendly game on Saturday.
Furthermore, both teams were more than successful in keeping things tight at the back in their latest outings. Neither Southgate nor Rohr will make any tactical changes here compared to the most recent affairs they had in March. None of these four combined games offered three or more goals which is why we have to take the 1.85 (17/20) odds for less than three goals to be scored at Wembley.
Alternatively, most Betting Sites in Nigeria will pay evens (2.00 or 1/1) odds for England to keep a clean sheet which is a must-take bet given the Three Lions shipped just one goal in four friendlies against Germany, Brazil, Netherlands and Italy.