• WC 2018: African nations finalise World Cup warm-up matches

    (ESPN) All of Africa's World Cup bound teams have finalised warm-up friendlies for next month, as they seek to get in potentially vital preparation ahead of their trip to Russia in mid-year.

    Senegal were the last of the five countries to fix games for the international window between March 19-28, but all now have a decent diet to give themselves a solid test in the last window of opportunity while the players are still at their respective clubs.

    Nigeria will go to Poland and then take on Serbia in London while Egypt are basing themselves in Switzerland for friendlies against Portugal and Bulgaria.

    Morocco and Tunisia will play one match each at home and then another in Europe.

    Morocco start against Serbia on Friday, 23 March, with the game set for Turin in Italy, and then go home to Casablanca for a home game on Tuesday, 27 March with Uzbekistan, who have been invited because they might replicate the style of Iran, who share Morocco's group at the World Cup.

    Uzbekistan will arrive in Morocco earlier so that they can play Senegal on 23 March, also in Casablanca.

    Senegal then go onto France, where they will play Bosnia-Herzegovina on 27 March. The venue is yet to be fixed but will be either Beauvais or Le Havre.

    Tunisia's football federation announced last week they would play Iran at the Rades Stadium on 23 March and then travel to Nice, France for a meeting with Costa Rica on neutral territory.

    The Tunisians also detailed their post-season preparations, which include an 11-day camp at altitude in the Swiss Alps.

    They will also play two friendlies, likely against club opposition, during their stay in Verbier from 28 May-5 June.

    Tunisia have already held a training camp for locally-based players at the turn of the year as the top local clubs have allowed coach Nabil Maaloul to call up their players outside the FIFA window for national team activity.

    Tunisia is the only one of the five African sides going to Russia who draw the majority of their squad members from their domestic championship.

    But the recent transfer of the likes of Ferjani Sassi to Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Amine Ben Amor and Hamid Nagguez to Egypt has seen the Tunisian federation cancel plans for furthers camps. They feel these are no longer necessary because too many key squad members are now no longer available as their new employers in Europe would not release them for the ad-hoc camps which Maaloul had planned for this month and March.

    But the Tunisia coach will still get his goalkeeping candidates for brief get-togethers from 19-21 February, 23-25 April and 30 April-2 May.

    Egypt must still fix their May plans but can also be expected to head back to Switzerland after their two March games.

    Morocco's federation have yet to announce their post league season, pre-World Cup training plans but local reports say they will also be going to Switzerland, after first assembling at the national training centre in Maamoura on 20 May.

    Morocco will be based some 1500 metres above sea level at Crans Montana where training in the thin air will boost fitness levels before going to a tough group in Russia, where they face Iran, Portugal and Spain.

    A friendly against Nigeria in Austria is also planned for 9 June.

    Nigeria have already pencilled in a date at Wembley against England on 2 June.

    Nigeria will also be in London next month at The Hive, home of League Two strugglers Barnet, where they will take on Serbia. It will be the second time Nigeria have played there, previously taking on Senegal in a 1-1 last March.

    Senegal's two games next month will be followed by three more internationals in the weeks leading up to the World Cup, which kicks off on 14 June.

    The Lions meet Luxembourg away on May 31, then Croatia in Zagreb on June 8 and will play one more game on 12 June. That opponent and venue has yet to be fixed.

    Coach Aliou Cisse will have his players from 21-24 May for their first camp in Senegal before they go onto Vittel in France which will be their base camp right up until departure for Russia.

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