Thursday October 2nd, 2014

Italy will host England in a friendly on March 31, 2015, the English Football Association announced on Thursday.

The venue for the match has not been announced. England will host Italy during a match during the 2016-2018 FIFA World Cup qualification cycle.

England manager Roy Hodgson said it will be a good test for his team.

“Italy have always provided stern opposition for England and these two fixtures will be no different. Italian teams are always set up very well and they have a great history of producing world class footballers. It will give us great preparation leading into major international tournaments.

“After managing in Italy with Inter Milan, it will be a fantastic experience for me personally to go back to Italy and manage England.”

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It has been 14 years since the two countries played in Italy. In that match, England lost 1-0 at Stadio Delle Alpi.

Italy also won the most recent match between the two sides during the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, 2-1, behind goals from Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli. 

England is currently preparing for two Euro 2016 qualifying matches against San Marino and Estonia later this month. England striker Daniel Sturridge will not play as he recovers from a thigh injury.

Italy will play Azerbaijan and Malta this month in Euro 2016 qualifying under new manager Antonio Conte.

• Platini calls for World Cup ethics report to be made public

- Paul Palladino

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