Russia to warm up for World Cup with Austria, Turkey

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An emblem of the 2018 World Cup stands near the Constantine (Konstantinovsky) Palace in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, July 24, 2015, on the eve of the preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

World Cup host 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 kicks off the World Cup in Moscow with its 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.

Russia is in Group A of the World Cup, competing with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay.

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