europe

Russia to warm up for World Cup against Austria, Turkey

Preparations under way ahead of opener against Saudi Arabia

AP
15:39 January 10, 2018

Moscow: World Cup hosts Russia will warm up for the tournament with friendlies against Austria and Turkey.

The Russian Football Union says it has reached deals to play Austria away in Innsbruck on May 30, before hosting Turkey in Moscow on June 5. The Turkey game comes nine days before Russia kick off the World Cup in Moscow with their opening Group A game against Saudi Arabia.

Both could present tricky opposition for Russia. Austria beat the Russians twice in qualifying for the 2016 European Championship, while a 2016 friendly between Turkey and Russia, played to celebrate warmer ties between the two countries’ governments, finished 0-0.

The Russians have previously announced March friendlies against Brazil and France, both at home.

—AP