England warmed up for the World Cup in Russia by recording a narrow 2-1 win over Nigeria at Wembley on Saturday.
Gareth Southgate’s side impressed in the first half against a sluggish Super Eagles team who face Argentina, Iceland and Croatia in Group D later this month.
Goals from Gary Cahill and Harry Kane gave England the lead in the first half before Alex Iwobi pulled one back for Nigeria shortly after the break.
However, the Three Lions held on to ensure that they head to Russia full of confidence ahead of their first game against Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday, 18 June at 19:00 BST.
The scoreline may have been tight, but there were a few players on each side who gave a good account of themselves ahead of the big competition.
The Tottenham quartet of Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Kieran Trippier make up the core of Southgate’s England squad and the striker once again showed his goalscoring credentials with a cool finish in the first half.
Kane’s 30 Premier League goals last season sees him go into the summer tournament full of confidence and belief that he can take the Three Lions as far as possible.
His movement, instinct and ability to score under pressure make him England’s key player at the World Cup.
He may be 32 years old and heading towards the end of his career, but Cahill’s knack for getting in the right place at the right time and leadership qualities will see him start England’s group games at the World Cup.
His defensive reading of the game is still at the top level and having the vitality of someone like Eric Dier next to him is vital when coming up against strikers such as Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku later this month.
Despite the whirlwind of media hysteria around Sterling over the past week, Manchester City’s star forward showed excellent movement throughout and will undoubtedly be a key player for Southgate’s side this summer.
He was booked for simulation in the second half which could see him receive further uncalled for criticism, but the 23-year-old’s strong mentality will surely help him in that regard going into a tournament where a five star Sterling will be required throughout.
The Tottenham man is a consistent presence down the right hand side for England and turned in another reliable performance on Saturday.
His deliveries into the box are accurate and his delivery for Cahill’s opener was as pin-point as the Chelsea skipper could have hoped for.
Trippier has got the balance right between attacking and defending, a balance that many modern day fullbacks struggle to find.
Another impressive performance from Iwobi for his country. It’s almost as if he turns into a different player when he pulls on the famous green and white to become the main creative outlet in his team.
The 22-year-old has struggled to replicate his national team form at club level with former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger previously demanding more goals and assists from an attacker who only managed three goals in 26 Premier League appearances last season.
He pulled one back for Nigeria after running into the box and instinctively finishing past Jordan Pickford - something that he will be confident of doing in Russia and will almost certainly need to do in front of new Gunners head coach Unai Emery next season.