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All you need to know about the Euro 2020 finals draw

The lowdown on how the process for next summer’s tournament will work.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s reigning European champions Portugal are possible group opponents for England or Wales (Mike Egerton/PA)
Cristiano Ronaldo’s reigning European champions Portugal are possible group opponents for England or Wales (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter

England and Wales will discover their Euro 2020 group stage opponents on Saturday when the finals draw is made.

Here, the PA news agency provides the lowdown on what to expect.

When and where is the draw?

The draw takes place at 5pm UK time on Saturday evening. It is being staged at the ROMEXPO exhibition centre in Bucharest. The Romanian capital is one of 12 cities hosting matches in next summer’s pan-European event.

Is the draw being televised?

It will be screened live on BBC Two at 5pm. The programme is scheduled to run until 6.30pm.

What is the format?

The tournament, like Euro 2016, will feature 24 teams. Twenty have already secured their places, the final four will be determined by play-off matches in March next year. There will be six groups, each containing four teams.

The top two teams from each group qualify for the round of 16, with the four best third-placed teams joining them.

Who can England get?

England manager Gareth Southgate will discover his side’s Euro 2020 finals opponents on Saturday (Steven Paston/PA)

England have already been placed in Group D, and will play their three group stage matches at Wembley. They will definitely be joined by the team which wins play-off Path C, which contains Scotland along with Israel, Norway and Serbia. If Scotland make it in March, they will play two matches at Hampden Park but would have to face England at Wembley.

What about Wales?

Due to a variety of factors, Wales can only be placed in Group A or B in Saturday’s draw, and they will be in Pot 4 for the draw alongside first-time qualifiers Finland and the four unknown play-off winners. Group A features Italy, who will play all of their group matches in Rome. The other Group A venue is Baku, which would mean some long journeys for Wales’ travelling fans. If Ryan Giggs’ side are drawn into Group B, they would definitely face Belgium, Russia and Denmark. Group B games will be played in Copenhagen and St Petersburg.

What would a ‘Group of Death’ look like for England?

World champions France would be tough opponents for England (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The worst case scenario for Gareth Southgate’s men would be to be drawn against both of the 2016 European Championship finalists France and Portugal, whilst Serbia are the highest-ranked of the sides in play-off Path C.

And what will Wales hope to avoid?

Ryan Giggs’ Wales side can expect to face stiff opposition whichever group they are placed in (Nick Potts/PA)

Being in the fourth seeding pot means they face a tough draw whether they end up in Group A or Group B. Group A could involve facing an Italy side with home advantage, world champions France and reigning European champions Portugal. Group B would mean facing the world’s number one-ranked side Belgium, plus away games against Russia and Denmark.

What is a best-case scenario for both sides?

England might quite like Poland from pot two and the Czech Republic from pot three – although the Czechs beat them in qualification. Israel are the lowest-ranked of the sides in play-off Path C.

And for Wales?

Probably to face Italy, Poland and the Czechs in Group A.

What does the path to the knockouts look like for England?

England will play their last 16 match in Dublin if they win Group D (Brian Lawless/PA)

The semi-finals and final are all at Wembley, but to get back there England would have to play a last-16 match in Dublin and a quarter-final in Dublin if they won Group D. If they finish second, they would be in Copenhagen for the last 16 and St Petersburg for the last eight. For Wales, we will have to wait and see which group they end up in, but the winners of Group A and B play their last 16 matches in London and Bilbao respectively.

What about Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland?

Mick McCarthy knows his Republic of Ireland side will only go into Group E at the Euro 2020 finals if they win their play-off path in March

The winners of play-off Path B, which contains Northern Ireland and the Republic, will be in Group E if they qualify in March. This is because the Aviva Stadium in Dublin is the second Group E host city, alongside Bilbao. For that reason, those sides know they will definitely face Spain if they emerge victorious in March.

When does the tournament start and finish?

Wembley will host the Euro 2020 final on July 12 next year (Nick Potts/PA)

The opening match takes place in Rome on June 12, the final is on July 12 at Wembley.



From Belfast Telegraph