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Portugal, France, Saudi in action on Monday

Portugal, France, Saudi Arabia prepare for World Cup with exciting friendlies

May 28, 2018 By Ali M.
Fellow World Cup side Tunisia will battle it out with the Euro 2016 champion, as preparation for the tournament in Russia continues.

Club football in Europe is over. The Champions League final brought down the curtain on that, with the next big tournament -- the 2018 World Cup -- not kicking off until June 14.

Fortunately, fans will have something to look forward to in the form of international friendlies, three of which will be played on Monday. Here is everything you need to know about those matches.

Broadcast info – Italy vs Saudi Arabia

What time: Monday, May 28 at 11:45 PT / 14:45 ET / 18:45 GMT / 19:45 BST / 20:45 CET

Which stadium: At the 17,317-seat Kybunpark

Which channel

Match facts

  • This will be the first meeting between these two sides.
  • Italy is without a win in their last four international games.
  • The Middle Eastern nation has already faced a European giant this year in the form of Belgium but lost 4-0.

Preview

Saudi Arabia continues their preparation for the World Cup with a difficult test against a European heavyweight: Italy. While the Azzurri failed to qualify for Russia, they remain a strong side that will test the Green Falcons' hopes of making the knockout stage.

The Saudi players have little knowledge of European football, as all but three play for domestic clubs. Their clash with Italy in Roberto Mancini's first game in charge will be an excellent warm-up for the summer tournament.


Broadcast info – Portugal vs Tunisia

What time: Monday, May 28 at 11:45 PT / 14:45 ET / 18:45 GMT / 19:45 BST / 20:45 CET

Which stadium: At the 30,286-seat Estádio Municipal de Braga

Which channel

Match facts

  • These two sides have met only once before, 16 years ago.
  • Despite also playing on home soil in that clash, Portugal only managed a 1-1 draw.

Preview

The Euro 2016 champion's World Cup preparation will see them lock horns with another team headed for Russia: Tunisia. Their friendly in Braga will be an excellent chance for Fernando Santos to test his mean, having left the likes of Andre Gomes, Nelson Semedo, Nani, and Eder out of the squad.

However, he will be without his captain and star attacker, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid ace will skip this tie, having featured in the Champions League final over the weekend. Tunisia, on the other hand, has not named their World Cup squad and could use this friendly to decide who should go.


Broadcast info – France vs Ireland

What time: Monday, May 28 at 11:45 PT / 14:45 ET / 18:45 GMT / 19:45 BST / 20:45 CET

Which stadium: At the 81,338-seat Stade de France

Which channel

Match facts

  • This will be their first meeting since France's 2-1 win over Ireland in Euro 2016.
  • This will be the 18th encounter between these two European sides.
  • Les Bleus' record is W8, L4. On home soil, France has lost only one of nine clashes.

Preview

The Ireland Republic will not be going to the World Cup, but they could get revenge for that 2009 defeat to France. No one can forget Thierry Henry assisting the winning goal with his hand to triumph in the 2010 World Cup playoff, with the Green Army hoping to win this time around in the exact same venue.

Didier Deschamps' main objective is to get his men prepared for Russia. Having left some big names out of the squad, the France boss must have his selected side in top shape or risk a backlash. 


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