England to face Nigeria, Costa Rica in World Cup warm-up matches

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The Three Lions will be playing tough non-European competition this June in preparation for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The FA announced on Wednesday that England will host Nigeria and Costa Rica in a pair of friendlies in early June ahead of the start of the World Cup. England will face Nigeria on June 2 at Wembley Stadium before taking on Costa Rica in Leeds on June 9.

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The two matches serve a purpose of preparing England for two of its group stage opponents – Tunisia and Panama, which are in the same confederations as Nigeria and Costa Rica, respectively.

Of course, England memorably were held to a scoreless draw by Costa Rica in the final group stage game at the 2014 World Cup, ensuring England’s earlier-than-anticipated exit while allowing Costa Rica to advance as group winners.