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England announce friendly fixtures

SoccerNews in World Cup 15 Sep 2008

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England will play Slovakia and Slovenia in friendly internationals at Wembley next year, the Football Association (FA) announced here on Monday.

The fixtures are designed to help Fabio Capello’s team in their bid to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

England will play Slovakia on March 28 and several months later they will face Slovenia on September 5.

The Slovakia fixture takes place shortly before England’s 2010 qualifier against Ukraine at Wembley on April 1, while the Slovenia match comes ahead of the qualifying clash with Croatia on September 9.

“It’s very important to play similar style opposition as practice for the competitive matches,” said Capello.

“The Slovakia and Slovenia games will be very good preparation for the vital World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine and Croatia.”

England currently top Group Six in the European qualifying zone following a 2-0 win over Andorra and last week’s 4-1 victory away to Croatia, which featured a hat-trick from teenage winger Theo Walcott.

Slovakia and Slovenia are in Group Three. After two games, Slovenia are joint leaders (with Poland) on four points whilst Slovakia are just one point behind.

The two countries met last Wednesday in Maribor where Slovenia won 2-1.

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