England to face Netherlands and Italy in World Cup warm-ups

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Gareth Southgate will get the opportunity to test his players against high-class opposition ahead of the World Cup in Russia

England are to face Netherlands and Italy in March as part of their preparations for the 2018 World Cup, the Football Association has announced.

The fixtures will provide Gareth Southgate's side with an opportunity to face top-class opposition ahead of the showpiece tournament in Russia.

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The Three Lions will travel to Amsterdam to face Netherlands on March 23 before welcoming Italy to Wembley Stadium four days later.

England have lost their last two meetings with the Dutch, who failed to even reach the World Cup qualifying play-offs after finishing third in Group A, including a 2-1 loss on home soil in March 2016.

Italy, meanwhile, missed out on a World Cup berth for the first time since 1958 after losing a two-legged play-off against Sweden.

The Azzurri were beaten 2-1 on their last visit to Wembley, back in August 2012.

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