Football: Hoddle brings back England B internationals

Glenn Hoddle, the England coach, yesterday announced a three-match programme of B internationals. Three B games will be played on the eve of the full warm-up matches against Chile next month, Switzerland in March, and Portugal in April.

The fixtures will be the first at this level since a 2-0 Anfield win over the Republic of Ireland in 1994 by an England team which included Chris Sutton, Andy Cole and Robbie Fowler.

West Bromwich's Hawthorns ground will host the game against Chile on 10 February, 24 hours before the senior side take on their fellow World Cup finalists.

Hoddle said the decision to reintroduce this level was crucial for France."We want to give more experience to five or six of the under-21 players and maybe five or six over-age players who we feel have a chance of making the World Cup," Hoddle said.