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How things stand in the battle for Euro 2020 qualification

The group stage of Euro 2020 qualifying concludes in November.

England are on the brink of qualifying for Euro 2020 (Nick Potts/PA)
England are on the brink of qualifying for Euro 2020 (Nick Potts/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

Qualification for Euro 2020 is heading towards its conclusion, with places in next summer’s tournament still up for grabs.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at which countries have already booked a spot and how things stand for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

England

After bouncing back from a shock defeat to Czech Republic by thrashing Bulgaria 6-0, Gareth Southgate’s side are on the brink of qualification.

England need just one more point and will qualify with a draw against Montenegro on November 14 at Wembley, or if Kosovo lose to Czech Republic on the same day.

They finish Group A against Kosovo in Pristina on November 17.

Scotland

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Victory over San Marino changed little for Steve Clarke and Scotland (Steve Welsh/PA)

Steve Clarke’s men have no chance of a top-two finish in Group I after losing five of their eight matches so far.

However, Scotland do have the ‘second chance’ route via the play-offs, which came from winning their Nations League group.

The qualifying play-offs will take place in March 2020, with four places on offer for teams who come through a semi-final and final, the seeding for the pairings based on performances from the Nations League. As the highest-ranked League C group winners, Scotland will host a semi-final.

Wales

Successive 1-1 draws with Slovakia and Croatia have left Ryan Giggs’ side fourth in Group E, four points off second place with a match in hand.

Wins in their final two fixtures, away to Azerbaijan and then home to Hungary, would lift Wales ahead of the second-placed Hungarians and seal qualification, unless Slovakia also win their final two games.

They also look likely, though not certain, to have a play-off place available should they miss out.

Northern Ireland

Manager Michael O’Neill put on a brave face following the 3-1 defeat against Holland in Rotterdam, where Northern Ireland had taken the lead before suffering a late collapse.

Subsequent wins for top two Holland and Germany left Northern Ireland three points behind in third, needing an unlikely maximum haul from games next month at home to the Dutch and away in Frankfurt to get out of Group C.

A play-off place remains a possibility and they can take confidence from Monday’s friendly win over Czech Republic in Prague.

Republic of Ireland

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Mick McCarthy’s Ireland must beat Denmark next month (Niall Carson/PA)

Despite losing to Switzerland, Mick McCarthy’s squad remain top of Group D, level on points with Denmark, albeit having played a game more.

With the Swiss also in the mix, Ireland must now take three points from the Danes in Dublin next month to qualify automatically.

Given their lowly spot in the Nations League rankings, McCarthy’s men will be keen to seize the opportunity.

Other qualifiers

Three-time European champions Spain and Ukraine became the latest countries to seal places in the tournament.

Belgium, Italy, Russia and Poland have also secured their spots.

World champions France, Portugal, Holland, Germany and Croatia are among the countries still with work to do.

PA

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