New Zealand will play two of the world's top five ranked nations in friendly matches against England and Belgium while the Socceroos still wrangle possible matches.
The All Whites will take on world number one ranked Belgium in Brussels on October 9 and then world number four England in a huge match at Wembley Stadium on November 13.
The matches are a huge coup for New Zealand, whose coach Danny Hay will travel to Europe for eight weeks to prepare and then collect an entirely Europe based squad for the matches.
“Obviously we’ve got a few shifting parts in terms of Covid in October and November, but it’s incredible that the organisation has shown a real appetite to get games of this nature locked in,” Hay told Stuff.
“We want to find out where our strengths and weaknesses lie, and we want to test ourselves against the best.”
The news comes a few weeks after Socceroos boss Graham Arnold revealed his struggle to secure friendly matches for the Socceroos this year.
“Plan A, I’ve ripped up that bit of paper and now I’ve pulled out Plan B,” Arnold said last month.
“It’s something that FFA will no doubt look to help support and I’ve obviously spoken to (FFA CEO) James Johnson about it. Those FIFA windows in October or November are still there because at this moment the Euro qualifiers are on.
“So in that FIFA window, we can hold a camp that combines of Olyroos and Socceroos, and have a camp in Europe, in England maybe, where we can get the players together and get on the front foot so when we do come back for our World Cup qualifiers, we’re ready to go.
“We’re looking at which nations are available to play. We’ve got probably close to 50 players playing in Europe. Those borders are open at the moment and things are moving around in Europe.
“Well, the staff, we can go to them. We can go and see them and make sure that we’re in communication. We reboot, review, reconnect and be ready for when things do open up and we are playing those games.
“We can’t go 18 months with me not seeing the players or not having that connection."