Nigeria vs England : RIO FERDINAND has told Gareth Southgate to play his first-choice defence against Nigeria tomorrow or risk a World Cup disaster.
Ferdinand believes England’s young players badly need to get used to playing with each other if they are to avoid making costly errors in Russia.
The former Three Lions captain also says the uncertainty over who starts in goal out of Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland needs clearing up – and that Southgate must use tomorrow’s Wembley warm-up and next Thursday’s Costa Rica friendly to settled that debate.
There are just 17 days until England open their campaign against Tunisia and Ferdinand said: “These two warm-up games have never been more important to an England team than at this time.
“It is the time you need to get familiar with the other people you are playing with.
“I don’t need just to be familiar with my centre back partners, I need to understand my goalkeeper and the way he wants to move.