England want to avoid playing Nigeria in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. According to English tabloid, The Sun, the Super Eagles are not the preferred rival that the Three Lions will want to face amongst the teams in Pot 4, which also contains Serbia, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea and Saudi Arabia. The best case scenario that will see the Three Lions tackle Russia, Iran and Panama has been termed Group of Life, while the worst case scenario which sees England face Brazil, Iceland and Brazil has been called the Group of Death.
England have become more wary of the Nigerians after the latter made a strong statement of intent, coming from two goals down to defeat Argentina 4-2 in their last match of 2017 on November 14, so they don’t want to draw the three-time African champs. Group F containing England, Argentina, Nigeria and Sweden, was nicknamed the Group of Death at the 2002 World Cup; the Three Lions and Super Eagles played out a goalless draw in Osaka in the final match of the group. Arsenal striker Alex Iwobi, Chelsea’s Victor Moses and Ola Aina, Leicester City trio Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa and Wilfred Ndidi will be on the plane to Russia barring an injury, while Everton’s Henry Onyekuru is in contention.