England to face Netherlands, Italy in World Cup warm-up fixtures

File: England striker Marcus Rashford (2R) and midfielder Dele Alli (2L) during a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying football match between Lithuania and England. Photo: Adrian DENNIS / AFP

JOHANNESBURG - England will play friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy next year ahead of the World Cup finals in Russia, the English Football Association announced on Tuesday.

Gareth Southgate's team will travel to Amsterdam to face the Dutch side at the Johan Cruyff Arena on March 23 before hosting Italy at Wembley on 27 March.

READ: Italy miss out on World Cup as Sweden qualify

England announced the fixtures just hours after Italy's failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958, following a 1-0 aggregate defeat by Sweden in their European playoff on Monday.

The Netherlands, World Cup runners-up in South Africa in 2010 and third in Brazil in 2014, missed a World Cup spot after finishing third behind France and Sweden in their qualifying group.

England held world champions Germany to a goalless draw in a friendly at Wembley last week and face Brazil at the same venue later on Tuesday. 

Reuters

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