Wales confirm two March friendlies

Wales have confirmed Euro 2016 warm-up matches against Northern Ireland and Ukraine in March.

Chris Coleman’s side will host fellow Euro 2016 finalists Northern Ireland on Thursday, 24 March at Cardiff City Stadium.

They will face Ukraine at Kiev’s NSK Olympiyskiy Stadium four days later.

Wales hope to play a final friendly in May before heading to France, and talks are already under way with the Czech Republic and Sweden.

“Those are two countries we are talking to,” Wales assistant manager Osian Roberts told BBC Wales Sport.

“Nothing has been confirmed so far but those talks will continue and hopefully those will soon conclude and we’ll know where and when we’ll be playing and against who.”

Wales will play Slovakia in their opening Euro 2016 group game on 11 June, with games against England and Russia to follow.

Ukraine are in the same group as Northern Ireland, Germany and Poland.

Coleman said the two March friendlies would be ideal preparation for the finals in France, where Wales will be making their first appearance at a major tournament since 1958.

“Michael O’Neill has done a fantastic job as manager of Northern Ireland and I am delighted for him,” Coleman said.

“This will be a great occasion for both sets of fans ahead of the finals.

“Meanwhile, the Ukraine are quality opposition and will be a real test for myself, the coaching team and the squad of players.”

Roberts said in December that a friendly with Ukraine would be the

perfect preparation

for the game against Russia.

“It’s quite obvious to see the similarities with Russia so we’re trying to mirror the games in the tournament with the preparation games,” he said.

Wales have met Ukraine on two previous occasions, with both games during the 2002 World Cup qualifiers ending 1-1.

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