Gareth Southgate full of praise for Jesse Lingard ahead of World Cup


Gareth Southgate full of praise for Jesse Lingard ahead of World Cup

Harry Kane continued his scoring streak as England captain but Gareth Southgate's side made heavy work of beating Nigeria in their final Wembley outing before the World Cup.

Nigeria's full-backs - particularly Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi and Brian Idowu - love to push forward and join the attack, but against England, they must be wary of Sterling's pace and pick their moments to press forward very carefully. The whole rhythm of the second half was wildly different, with Nigeria now looking confident and comfortable playing with an intensity that suited their side.

Alli could have played for Nigeria but chose England and has represented them from Under 17 up to the first team.

However, Moses requested for a further scan in the United Kingdom, with Rohr granting him his wish to prove his fitness ahead of the world cup. Yet this provides more questions than answers and having churned out a solid showing against Nigeria, Butland will need to make sure he doesn't put a foot wrong if he, as expected, starts against Costa Rica in midweek, with Pickford at present perhaps the favourite to get the nod from Southgate in Russian Federation.

With 52 minutes gone, Sterling was booked for diving as keeper Uzoho came out to meet him when Lingard played the ball through, and then an Alli pass nearly played Lingard in before Moses fired over for Nigeria.

At half-time Nigeria were 2-0 down and playing poorly. Nigeria's problems against the crossed ball may not bode well for them. Odion Ighalo controlled an aerial pass and turned to whip his shot against the post, with the ricochet landing invitingly for Iwobi. "They're all doing it wrong, man", one person pointed out.

"It was a great occasion for myself to go over there and see them play live and the atmosphere", he said.

Spotting Trippier's over-lapping run, Alli teed up his Tottenham team-mate for a low cross that Lingard flicked goalwards, only for Uzoho to make a fine save.

Substitutes: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (for Lingard, 67mins): 5; Danny Rose (for Young, 68mins): 6; Danny Welbeck (for Kane, 73mins): 6; Marcus Rashford (for Sterling, 73mins): 5; Fabian Delph (for Alli, 82mins): 5. Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope have all been selected for the final squad, However, ahead of the game, Southgate remarked: "We know what we want to see in that area and we're clear on what we think".

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