Football: Socceroos will play at Wembley for first time v England

The Socceroos will debut at Wembley Stadium and the Matildas will get a serious workout before the home World Cup with both teams to play England in England this year.

A pair of blockbuster friendlies have been locked in, with Graham Arnold’s Socceroos set for a showdown with the Three Lions at Wembley for the first time in October.

But it’s the Matildas’ clash with Euro champs England that could provide the perfect test ahead of the home World Cup when they clash in April.

England is ranked No.4 in FIFA’s women’s rankings and beat Germany 2-1 in extra time in the final of last year’s Euros to secure the title.

“It’s a chance for us to continue to gather crucial information on our style, our play and what we will need to continue evolving ahead of July’s kick-off,” Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson said.

The Matildas haven’t played against England since October 2018 where the match ended in a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage in London.

Arnold said taking his team to Wembley Stadium was a “dream” for most footballers.

This year marks 20 years since the Socceroos’ only victory against England when Arnold was an assistant coach to Frank Farina.

“That night brings back some amazing memories for Australian football and football fans,” Arnold said.

“As an Australian footballer and coach, playing England at Wembley is something all footballers dream of. Not just because of the occasion, but for the opportunity it presents to test ourselves against one of the world’s most revered footballing nations.

“We showed at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar that we can match it with the best and by playing the best on a more regular basis, it will only strengthen our preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers and the AFC Asian Cup to be hosted by Qatar in early 2024.”

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