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Italy, Russia to play two friendlies before 2018 World Cup

Andrea Belotti celebrates after scoring the opener for Italy against Macedonia.
Italy will play Russia in two friendlies to get ready for the World Cup.

ROME -- Italy and Russia will play two friendlies before the 2018 World Cup following a new partnership between the federations.

The Italian football federation (FIGC) said after a meeting in Moscow between its president Carlo Tavecchio and Vitaly Mutko, sports minister and president of the Football Union of Russia, that the matches will be in 2017 and 2018.

Russia are hosting the 2018 World Cup. In five previous meetings with Russia, Italy have won three matches, drawn one, and lost one.

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