England Hit The (Elland) Road

Costa Rica will provide the opposition on June 7, the Central American side, who surprisingly qualified from England’s group at Brazil 2014, hopefully offering a similar test to that posed by Panama who meet Gareth Southgate’s side in Nizny Novgorod on 24 June.

Final warm-up matches prior to Euro 2016 were similarly taken on the road and there is sure to be plenty of interest in Leeds and the wider Yorkshire area in the game.

While attendances at Wembley for England’s World Cup qualifiers have held up as well as can be expected (and attract envious glances from other nations), it looks to have been an opportunity missed not to have played at least one of the matches at the beginning of the 2017/18 season at a different location.

With the national stadium now paying its own way and Tottenham Hotspur moving in for the whole campaign, plus the NFL matches, a case could surely have been made for either the Slovakia or Slovenia games to have been taken elsewhere.

Both fixtures were fairly sluggish affairs and England may have been helped by a more partisan atmosphere being generated by a full house at a club ground.

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