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Argentina to play Spain, Italy in March in World Cup buildup

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Argentina will play Italy and Spain in March as part of its World Cup preparations.

The Argentine Football Association says on Tuesday the team will face the Italians on March 23 in Basel, Switzerland, then Spain four days later in Madrid.

Argentina had a troubled campaign in South American World Cup qualifiers. It secured a spot in Russia only in the very last match against Ecuador.

Italy did not qualify for the World Cup for the first time in decades and Spain is among the favorites to win it.

The Argentines are in Group D with Iceland, Croatia, and Nigeria.

Updated January 9, 2018

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