England to play Euro 2016 warm-up games at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium and Sunderland's Stadium of Light

 
Joe Hall
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England v Lithuania - EURO 2016 Qualifier
Home sweet home: Raheem Sterling will be in familiar territory at the Etihad (Source: Getty)

The England football team are to play games outside of London for the first time in nine years ahead of this summer's Euro 2016, with games in Manchester and Sunderland.

Roy Hodgson's side will take on Turkey at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Sunday 22 May and Australia at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland five years later.

England will round off a trio of warm-up games on Thursday 2 June against Portugal at Wembley, where the England team has been rooted since the stadium was reopened in 2007.

"I'm happy that we have been able to secure three challenging opponents that will help us prepare for the tournament," said England manager Roy Hodgson.

"Since the 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 before the final home game at Wembley."

England previously toured the country while the new stadium was being built between 2001 and 2007, playing at 14 different stadiums across 34 fixtures.

Old Trafford was the most popular destination, with 14 matches, but smaller grounds such as Derby’s Pride Park and Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium also took part.

Crowds have begun to dwindle at Wembley in recent years. Just 40,181 people showed up to watch England’s last home game against Norway in August 2014.

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