England to play Nigeria and Costa Rica in World Cup warm-up games

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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 is a very strong team presently and I believe they will give us a very good match", he continued.

"But it's not just about the games we've got in the group stages, but hopefully beyond that as well".

The Three Lions will play a game at Elland Road for the first time since 2002 and Southgate is looking forward to the clash in Yorkshire, where he also happens to live.

The Three Lions will take on Costa Rica in Leeds on Thursday, June 7 (8pm) before heading off for the tournament in Russian Federation.

Costa Rica topped England's group at Brazil 2014, being held to a 0-0 draw by Roy Hodgson's team in Belo Horizonte, before suffering a penalty shoot-out elimination against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.

England - whose best World Cup performance since the winning the tournament in 1966 was a semi-final penalty shootout loss to West Germany in 1990 - already have Netherlands and Italy, two giants of the world game who failed to qualify for Russian Federation lined-up for friendlies in March.

England defeated Nigeria 1-0 in a highly entertaining friendly at the old Wembley in 1994 with David Platt scoring the only goal.

"It's nice when we have an opportunity to take the team on the road".