The Euro 2020 Qualifying Kicks off this Thursday 21st. We take a look at the groups and the home nations prospects of qualifying for the main event.
Fifty Five nations are battling for just twenty spots as the Qualifiers kick off. The Nations League has added a new element into the equation, meaning that some countries already have a play off spot under their belts before kicking a ball in qualifying! How will this affect their respective groups?
Euro 2020 takes place in 12 different countries from June 2020. The 1st match is played in Rome and the Final at Wembley. The format of the actual tournament will be the same with Six groups of Four. The Top two will automatically qualify for the Knock-out stages, along with four 3rd place finishers.
England, Czech Rep, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo
Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg
Netherlands, Germany, N Ireland, Estonia, Belarus
Switzerland, Denmark, Rep Ireland, Georgia, Gibraltar
Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan
Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Faroe Isl, Malta
Poland, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, Macedonia, Latvia
France, Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova, Andorra
Belgium, Russia, Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, San Marino
Italy, Bosnia-H, Finland, Greece, Armenia, Liechtenstein
The Sixteen teams that won their Nations League groups have guaranteed a play off spot. This includes England and Scotland. If these teams qualifying (More than likely) the next best team in their Nations League group gets a play off spot. The Nations League finals have no impact on Euro Qualifying.
Northern Ireland got an extremely tough group. With Top Seeds Netherlands and Germany, they will be up against it to qualify. Michael O’Neill said
“It’s very cruel, possibly the worst draw we could have got”
They do have an opportunity to get some points on the board and some momentum onside before meeting the heavyweights. No Side enjoys taking on the GAWA at the National Stadium.
England have got an easy looking group. Top Seeds they nearly always qualify with ease. The only thing that might upset them will be their Nations League Final against Portugal.
Scotland have the safety net of a play off place. They may need it with a group including the imperious Belgium and potentially dangerous Russia. Alex McLeish said
“I believe we will have a chance”
Not exactly inspiring words from the Team Manager.
Wales like N Ireland have a five team group. This helps as every game is crucial. World Cup finalists Croatia will qualify, Slovakia and Hungary will provide tough opposition.
The Rep of Ireland were initially drawn in N Irelands Group C. N Ireland got their spot due to the convoluted Nations League terms. Switzerland and Denmark again will most likely top the group. Rep Ireland will need to win their Home games.