England line up Mexico date

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England will face Mexico at Wembley in their penultimate friendly before heading to the World Cup in South Africa.

Although the Football Association are yet to officially confirm the May 24 contest, Mexican officials have included it in a six-match tour that also incorporates matches against Holland and the current world champions Italy.

Mexico were Fabio Capello's preferred choice of opponents as a warm-up for England's opening Group C game against the United States in Rustenburg on June 12.

Capello's belief is that, coming from the same region, Mexico will offer England the best possible guide to what they are likely to face from the United States, even though many of Bob Bradley's players, including star man Landon Donovan, are currently based in Europe.

The game will also act as an official farewell as England's final friendly - almost certainly against Japan - will be held at the end of that week in Austria.

Capello has already identified a training base at altitude in the near the small town of Irdning.

It now seems England will leave on May 16, the day after the FA Cup final, minus any players involved in the Champions League final in Madrid the following weekend, and remain in Austria until at least 48 hours before the Mexico game and then head straight back out again once the Wembley friendly has been played.

They will come back to London after the game against Japan on either May 29 or 30 ahead of Capello's final 23-man squad announcement on June 1.

The Three Lions will then head to their training base in Rustenburg on June 2 ahead of a group campaign that also includes matches against Algeria and Slovenia.

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