England are to play away from Wembley Stadium for the first time in nine years, with Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and the Stadium of Light in Sunderland to host Euro 2016 warmup matches.
Roy Hodgson’s men will start their preparations with a clash against Turkey at the Etihad on May 22 — the day after the FA Cup final — before then hosting Australia in Sunderland on May 27.
They will be England’s first matches away from the national stadium since a 1-0 defeat to Spain at Old Trafford in February 2007, but they will return to Wembley 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,” Roy Hodgson told the FA’s official website.
“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 at Wembley.”
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 for the fixtures against Portugal and Turkey.
The country. Together for #England.
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The Football Association has also confirmed that Hodgson will announce his squad for the finals on May 12.
The Premier League campaign ends on May 14 and the squad is set to convene at St George’s Park on May 18, although the finals of the Europa League (May 18), FA Cup (May 21) or Champions League (May 28) would see any players involved 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 Lens, before heading to St Etienne to play Slovakia in their final Group B match.
Hodgson’s men step up their preparations for France by travelling to world champions Germany and then hosting Netherlands in friendlies this month.