Eng­land book friendlies with Netherlands, Italy

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

LONDON: Eng­land have ar­ranged friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy in March as they step up their prepa­ra­tions for the World Cup.

Gareth South­gate’s side will face the Netherlands in Am­s­ter­dam on March 23 be­fore host­ing Italy at Wem­b­ley four days later.

Both the Netherlands and Italy have failed to qual­ify for next year’s tour­na­ment in Rus­sia, but South­gate ex­pects them to pro­vide strong op­po­si­tion as he fine­tunes his squad.

The Netherlands fin­ished third be­hind France and Swe­den in their qual­i­fi­ca­tion group.

Italy will miss the World Cup for the first time since 1958 af­ter los­ing 1-0 on ag­gre­gate in their two-legged play-off against Swe­den.

Eng­land are also set to play two fur­ther friendlies be­fore the World Cup, but the op­po­nents won’t be se­lected un­til af­ter the fi­nals draw, which takes place on De­cem­ber 1 in Moscow. – AFP

- AFP photo

Ital­ian sup­port­ers re­act as they watch in a bar the FIFAWorld Cup 2018 qual­i­fi­ca­tion foot­ball match be­tween Italy and Swe­den, on Novem­ber 13, 2017 in Mi­lan.

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