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

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England's Marcus Rashford with England under 21 manager Gareth Southgate after he is substituted

England's Marcus Rashford with England under 21 manager Gareth Southgate after he is substituted

WEB_PHOTO_SOUTHGATE_290916

England's Marcus Rashford with England under 21 manager Gareth Southgate after he is substituted

England's Marcus Rashford with England under 21 manager Gareth Southgate after he is substituted

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&39;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&39;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.