Road trips lined up for England ahead of Euros

ROY HODGSON: England boss is happy to have lined up strong opposition for warm-up games.
ROY HODGSON: England boss is happy to have lined up strong opposition for warm-up games.
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England are going on the road for the first time in nine years, with Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and the Stadium of Light in Sunderland to host Euro 2016 warm-up matches.

Roy Hodgson’s men will start their preparations with a clash against Turkey in the north west on May 22 – the day after the FA Cup final – before then hosting Australia in Sunderland.

They will be England’s first matches away from Wembley since a 1-0 defeat to Spain at Old Trafford in February 2007, but they will return to the national stadium to take on Portugal on June 2 in their final friendly before heading to France.

“I’m happy that we have been able to secure three challenging opponents that will help us prepare for the tournament,” said England boss Roy Hodgson.

“Since the Euro group draw in Paris last December, The FA has worked hard to put together a programme of games around the country and we’re looking forward to playing in the north-west and north-east of the country before the final home game.”

England initially hoped to announce the fixtures earlier, but had to lobby UEFA to be allowed to play more than one opponent to have qualified for Euro 2016.

That has allowed the fixtures against Portugal and Turkey, the latter of whom the Three Lions are facing for the first time since tense Euro 2004 qualifiers. The FA has also confirmed that Hodgson will announce the much-anticipated England squad on May 12 at Wembley.

The Premier League campaign ends the following weekend and the squad are set to convene at St George’s Park on May 18, although involvement in the FA Cup final, Champions League or Europa League finals would see those players follow a different schedule.

Hodgson has until May 31 to submit to UEFA his final 23-man squad for Euro 2016 and England begin their campaign against Russia in Marseille on June 11.

England then face Wales in a mouth-watering tie in Lens, before travelling to St Etienne to play Slovakia in their final Group B match. Hodgson’s men step up their preparations for France by this month travelling to world champions Germany and then hosting Holland in friendlies.