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Swiss to play Italians in World Cup warm-up

Switzerland will play football world champions Italy in a friendly in August to prepare for an important qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup.

The Swiss Football Association said on Wednesday the team would play the Italians at the St Jakob Park stadium in Basel on August 12.

Switzerland face Group 2 leader Greece in a qualifying match on September 5. The Swiss beat Greece 2-1 in Athens in October, but trail the 2004 European champions in the standings after four of ten matches.

Greece has nine points, Israel is next with eight and Switzerland is third with seven. Italy leads Group 8 in European qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Only the team that finishes top is guaranteed qualification.

Switzerland's next qualifying match is against Moldova, away, on March 28.

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