LONDON: England’s World Cup preparations will continue with March friendlies against Holland and Italy.
Gareth Southgate has four games lined up before next summer’s tournament and the Football Association has arranged to play two of the most high-profile sides who failed to qualify for Russia.
The Three Lions will play at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff Arena on March 23 before hosting the Azzurri at Wembley four days later.
Holland finished third behind France and Sweden in a tough qualification group, while Italy will miss their first World Cup in 60 years after losing a play-off to the latter. Nevertheless, both are considered strong enough opponents to test Southgate’s side as he puts the finishing touches to his squad.
England’s opponents for the remaining two friendlies are likely to depend on the outcome of the World Cup finals draw, which will take place on December 1 in Moscow.