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Home nations set to find out Euro 2020 qualifying opponents

The draw will take place in Dublin on Sunday.

England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will discover just how tricky a route they face to Euro 2020 when the qualifying draw takes place in Dublin on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate’s side, who, as Nations League finalists, are among the top seeds, should be handed the smoothest path when the draw gets under way at 11am.

Wales are in pot two, while Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic are in pot three.

Southgate’s side are also guaranteed a spot in a five-team group rather than one with six sides, so they are able to play in next summer’s Nations League Finals alongside Portugal, Holland and Switzerland.

The top two teams from each of the 10 groups will qualify for the tournament. England and Scotland are already guaranteed a play-off place should they fail to qualify automatically, by virtue of winning their Nations League groups.

Germany are the biggest danger lurking in pot two after their Nations League relegation.

Arguably the toughest draw England could face would be to find themselves in a group with Germany, Slovakia, Greece and Macedonia. A more straightforward draw – on paper at least – would see Southgate’s team face Czech Republic, Israel, Georgia and the Faroe Islands.

Wales are in pot two, meaning they will avoid Germany, but Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic could end up with Joachim Low’s former world champions, who will be out to recover from an awful year, as well as the likes of France, Croatia or Belgium from pot one. Poland, who were far from impressive at the World Cup and were relegated from League A of the Nations League, would appear the weakest of the top seeds.

UEFA draws are never that straightforward, though. The governing body has tried to give all 12 Euro 2020 host nations a chance of qualifying. Therefore, no more than two nations staging games can be in the same group.

That includes England, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Azerbaijan, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Holland, Italy, Romania, Russia and Spain.

“It’s quite a complex draw this one and we’re going to have to play a really good team from pot one,” said Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill, who believes his side can take confidence from their Nations League campaign, even though it yielded four defeats from four games.

Michael O’Neill's Northern Ireland lost all four of their Nations League games (Tim Goode/PA).
Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland lost all four of their Nations League games (Tim Goode/PA).

“In pot two, again, there are some very strong teams. I think everyone is looking at Germany in there and that’s one we’d want to avoid.

“But I think what the Nations League showed was that we’re more than capable of holding our own at that level. It is going to be very interesting on Sunday.”

Scotland had a rather more successful Nations League, winning promotion from League C, and assistant coach Peter Grant says the Dark Blues are full of confidence.

“The first challenge for us was to qualify for the play-offs through the Nations League and we’ve done that,” he said.

“The boys are full of confidence from the last two games and now our next challenge is to qualify from the group.

“I’m sure the boys will be relishing the challenge and hopefully we can take another step towards a major championship.”

The finals will for the first time be staged across Europe in 12 cities from Baku to Bilbao. Wembley will host the semi-finals and final, while Dublin and Glasgow will also stage games.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City35292489226789
2Liverpool35277179205988
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal35206969462366
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd35197963501364
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves35149124443151
8Watford35148135050050
9Everton35147145044649
10Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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