After all the speculation regarding a possible ‘group of Death’ England eventually found out who they will be playing next summer as the UEFA Euro 2020 draw was offically drawn in what has to be the most complex and confusing manner in history yesterday!
With England as one of the seeded teams and automatically in Group D, meaning they would play all their games at Wembley, the biggest threat came from World Cup champions France who were placed in the second group of seeded sides and then the current holders and inaugural League of Nations champions Portugal who were in the third pot. Lastly we could play the Auld enemies Scotland who still need to qualify but were part of the final pot along with Northern Ireland and the republic of Ireland.
The tournament is the first of its kind that will be hosted by multiple countries, marking the 60th Anniversary of the competition, 12 cities across Europe have been named, with any country scheduled to host a game automatically going into that pool already assigned to their city! I.e. England were only ever going to be in group D as Wembley was the host city for that group!
As the draw was concluded England eventually had a favoured draw as Croatia, Czech Republic and will all play the qualifier from the Scotland/Norway/Serbia and Israel Play off group.
With Croatia and the Czech Republic England have two teams they know well as they have played each other of the big stage over the past two seasons, with Croatia taking the win in the 2018 World Cup semi final before England beat them on the road to the League of Nations final last summer. While the Czech’s were part of England’s qualifying group which ended up with a crushing defeat at Wembley before they pulled off a shock win in the return game, England’s first and only defeat in the qualification pool’
The pool of death everyone had speculated about did emerge during the draw, however it was former champions Germany who will face off against both France and Portugal next summer in Munich.
Of the remaining home nation, Wales where drawn in Group A and will take on Italy, Switzerland and Turkey as they look to repeat, they success of 2016 and make the semi finals at least.
The opening game will see Italy host Turkey in Rome on June 12th, while England will wait a further two days before they welcome Croatia to Wembley on the 14th June.
Group A: Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales
Group B: Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Finland
Group C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, Path D/A*
Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, on from Scotland, Israel, Norway, Serbia
Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden, one from Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, Path A/D*
*Iceland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary / Georgia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus
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