Super Eagles of Nigeria will be hoping to pull a great victory against the Three Lions of England in an international friendly match at Wembley Stadium on Saturday (4:15pm Nigerian time), in preparation for the World Cup.
The team which arrived London on Thursday having played a 1-1 draw against DR Congo on Monday will be facing England for the third time in all competitions since their first meeting after the 1994 World Cup, where the team narrowly lost 1-0 at the same venue.
With players such as Mikel Obi, Odion Igho, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Moses and a few to mention coming back to face some of their friends in the England team, it is expected that the encounter would be explosive.
However, Gareth Southgate and his youthful, 23-man provisional World Cup squad will be hoping to make a statement of intent when Nigeria pay a visit to Wembley this weekend.
One of two friendlies against Russia-bound opposition ahead of the finals, the game gives the Three Lions boss a chance to experiment with his lineup before the main event, and in turn, provides his players with the opportunity to stake a claim for the starting XI at the tournament.
Southgate will be banking on Dele Alli, Hary Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy to shoulder the team’s goalscoring responsibilities.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo expects a tough game when Nigeria face England in Saturday’s friendly at Wembley.
“They will be faces which I have seen and played against in the Premier League when I was there,” Ighalo told NFF.
“So it is going to be a good game and exciting one I’m happy and looking forward to it.
“England have a good team all the players they have in that squad for the World Cup [are in] top teams in the Premier League doing so well, so it is going to be a difficult game, tough game.
“You know it is a friendly and we want to win every game, do well and correct some mistakes, so it is going to be a tough one and it is possible for us to win.”
In the same vein, Super Eagles captain and midfielder, Mikel Obi says he can’t wait to face the Three Lions of England on Saturday.
”We are in England, a terrain most of us know too well. I was here and won several trophies with Chelsea, including the Champions League. It will be an interesting encounter on Saturday,” Mikel told thenff.com.
Also, Super Eagles forward, Kelechi Iheanacho has stated that they are aware of England threat and would approach the game like a cup game.
Iheanacho added: ”England’s players know us and we know them. It will be a good match.”
Consequently, the Football Association on Thursday named Italian official Marco Guida as the referee for Saturday’s prestige friendly between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and England’s Three Lions at Wembley Stadium, London.
Guida will be assisted by compatriots Riccardo Di Fiore and Alessandro Giallatini (Assistant Referees) and Davide Massa (Fourth Official), as well as Michael Fabbri (Video Assistant Referee) and Giulio Dobosz (Assistant Video Assistant Referee).