England line up top-class opponents

England line up top-class opponents

England line up top-class opponents

First published in Sport

ENGLAND will play four prestige friendlies against world champions Germany, Spain, Italy and France over the next two years.

Football Association general secretary Alex Horne said the friendlies against teams who have won four out of last five World Cups had been arranged in the run-up to Euro 2016 but the dates have yet to be confirmed.

Horne also admitted there will be a record low turn-out for an England game at the new Wembley when Norway come next week for a friendly.

Speaking after a UEFA meeting in Monaco, Horne said: “We have got a set of friendlies to go with the qualifiers right through to March 2016 all arranged.

“We will be playing the bigger European countries - it makes more sense to prepare for a European tournament by playing European opposition so we have put less of an emphasis on non-Europeans over the next two years.

“Home and away we will be playing France, Spain, Italy and Germany.”

England will play Norway with only the lower tier of Wembley occupied by fans due to low ticket sales.

Horne added: “We are expecting 35-40,000. It will be the lowest crowd we have had at Wembley, the average England gate is 79,000 so it is disappointing.

“We have got some work to do, we have to rebuild a squad which is Roy Hodgson’s department, and we have got to rebuild some trust with the supporters.”

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