The Three Lions will take on Nigeria at Wembley on June 2 and then Costa Rica at Elland Road five days later before heading off for the tournament in Russian Federation.
The last time Nigeria and England met in a friendly match was at Wembley and the Three Lions ran away with a 1-0 victory via David Platt's header. "We played Argentina (in November 2017) without even knowing we were going to be in the same group at the Finals".
"We've mostly played European opposition up to now and the Brazil game [in November] acted as a reminder that we need to challenge ourselves in different ways as a team", Southgate said.
England's final World Cup group game is against Belgium.
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Nigerian coach Gernot Rohr has expressed delight at the opportunity to lead his team against the 1966 world champions ahead of the World Cup in Russian Federation. Certainly, it is going to be a big match, between two countries of remarkable historical affinity and similarities.
England has friendlies in March at Wembley against two teams that failed to qualify for the World Cup: the Netherlands and Italy. "We had been doing a lot of work in the background", Seyi Akinwunmi, NFF's First Vice President and Chairman of the Federation's Organizing Committee, said. "It's nice when we have an opportunity to take the team on the road".
Rohr described the fixture as "good news for myself and the entire team" and said Gareth Southgate's side were "very strong presently and... will give us a very good match".
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles already have a confirmed date for a friendly against Poland in Warsaw on March 23.