England to keep Super Eagles grounded

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Raheem Sterling

This may not be the greatest England side of all time but they should be able to warm up for their World Cup campaign with a routine victory against Gernot Rohr’s team.

Gareth Southgate’s outfit may lack the creativity and flair of the world’s leading sides but they are well-organised and dogged, which should be good enough to see off a Nigeria side that has lost 4-0 to Morocco and 2-0 to Serbia this year.

England 10/13 to keep a clean sheet

Since losing 3-2 to France in a friendly almost 12 months ago, England have only conceded two goals in eight fixtures, in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory against Slovakia and the 1-1 friendly draw with Italy in March.

Included in that run have been a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands and goalless draws with both Brazil and Germany, so another clean sheet against a team with a world ranking of 47 should be expected.

England 9/2 to win 1-0

The two teams have only met twice before – at the 2002 World Cup when the match ended goalless and in a friendly in 1994 when England edged to a 1-0 victory.

Another single-goal victory for the Three Lions at Wembley is a distinct possibility as Southgate fine-tunes his side in readiness for the action in Russia.

Sterling 17/4 to score the first goal

Nigeria can call on the likes of Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and John Obi Mikel but it is England’s in-form Harry Kane who is expected to trouble the scorers.

However, the Tottenham striker is only 11/4 to score the first goal on Saturday so it may be worth looking elsewhere for value. Raheem Sterling has a point to prove after being the subject of intense scrutiny this week for his choice of tattoos and may answer his critics by getting on the scoresheet.

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