Gareth Southgate returns to Middlesbrough for England’s Euro 2020 warm-ups

England have not played at the Riverside in 19 years

England will prepare for their shot at European Championship glory in Middlesbrough.

With Wembley handed over to UEFA at the start of June ahead of the tournament, Gareth Southgate’s men are heading on the road in the build-up to Euro 2020.

England will play their group matches in the capital and be based at St George’s Park for the tournament, but the preparation camp and warm-up friendlies will be held in Middlesbrough.

Southgate skippered Boro to Carling Cup glory in 2004 – the club’s first-ever major trophy – and the UEFA Cup final two years later, before spending a three-year stint as manager there up until 2009.

The England boss will return to his old stomping ground this summer, with the Riverside Stadium hosting the Euro warm-up fixtures against Austria on June 2 and Romania on June 6.

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The Teesside double-header could also see the Three Lions host fans for the first time since the 7-0 Euros qualification win against Montenegro at Wembley in November 2019.

“Should it be deemed safe for fans to attend these forthcoming fixtures then any ticketing arrangements will be communicated via The FA and not Middlesbrough FC,” the Football Association said.

“The FA will continue to liaise with relevant authorities and explore the possibility of supporters being in attendance.”

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England have played in Manchester, Sunderland, Leeds, Leicester and Southampton since 2016.

The Riverside Stadium, which was opened in 1995, has only once previously hosted the men’s senior team, when Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side beat Slovakia 2-1 in a Euro 2004 qualifier in June 2003.

England Women lost 2-1 to Brazil at the stadium in October 2019, while the men’s Under-21 side have played there eight times.

PA

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