UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying
Euro 2020 Qualification starts with ten groups containing 55 teams fighting for a place in the finals. The tournament is scheduled to take place across 12 cities in 12 European countries.
There are five groups containing five countries, with another five containing six. Over ten matchdays, each nation will compete against those sides in their group home and away, with the teams in Groups A to E playing eight matches, and those in Groups F to J playing 10.
At the end of the qualifying group games, the teams in each group’s top two spots will automatically qualify for the final tournament, determining the first 20 places.
The final four places at the Euros will then be contested by the 16 group winners of the UEFA Nations League in the European Qualifiers Play-Offs in March 2020.
If a Nations League group winner has already qualified for the European Championships, their spot in the play-offs will go to the next best ranked team in the Nations League groups. If a league doesn’t have four teams to compete in the play-offs, the next highest ranked team from the next league will slot in.
Once groups have been determined, they’ll play-off to the final, featuring two single-leg semi-finals, and a single leg final. The winner of each path will then book their ticket to UEFA Euro 2020.
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Euro 2020 qualifying fixtures
Matchday One: 21st – 23rd March 2019
Matchday Two: 24th – 26th March 2019
Matchday Three: 7th – 8th June 2019
Matchday Four: 10th – 11th June 2019
Matchday Five: 5th – 7th September 2019
Matchday Six: 8th – 10th September 2019
Matchday Seven: 10th – 12th October 2019
Matchday Eight: 13th – 15th October 2019
Matchday Nine: 14th – 1th November 2019
Matchday Ten: 17th – 19th November 2019
Euro 2020 qualification groups
Group A features England, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Czech Republic. England are the outright favourites, with Czech Republic also backed to qualify.
Reigning champions Portugal are in Group B along with Luxembourg, Ukraine, Serbia and Lithuania. Portugal are the front-runners, with Ukraine and Serbia battling it out for second.
Northern Ireland face a tough test in Group C. They’re with Germany, Netherlands, Estonia and Belarus. Germany and Netherlands are favourites to occupy the top two spots, with Northern Ireland just behind.
Group D contains Republic of Ireland. They face Denmark, Switzerland, Gibraltar and Georgia. Switzerland and Denmark are in pole-position to qualify, but third-favourites Republic of Ireland will be looking to take advantage of any slip-ups.
World Cup runners-up Croatia are with Wales in Group E. Those two are favourites to progress, with Slovakia, Hungary and Azerbaijan making up the rest of the group.
Spain are runaway favourites to qualify in Group F, with Sweden also expected to make it through. The remaining sides battling for a spot are Malta, Romania, Norway and Faroe Islands.
Poland sit as the favourites for Group G, but the second spot is up for grabs and wide open. Israel, Macedonia, Slovenia, Austria and Latvia are battling it out to grab second.
France are outright favourites for the tournament, and backed to win Group H. Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Andorra and Moldova will fight for second spot.
Scotland have a strong chance of making it through their group as runners up. Belgium are clear favourites to win Group I, but second will be a contest between Scotland and Russia. Cyprus, Kazakhstan and San Marino make up the rest of the group.
Italy are the favourites in Group J. Three other sides will be looking to cause an upset though, with Greece, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Finland expected to compete for second. Armenia and Liechtenstein are also in Group J.
England Euro 2020 qualifying
Top Scorer: Raheem Sterling – 4 Goals
Key Players: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli
With a favourable draw in Group A, England will feel that they should progress to the Finals with relative ease. If they don’t manage to finish in the top two of their group, their performance in the Nations League means they would have a second-chance through the play-offs.
Gareth Southgate’s side have never faced Kosovo before, so they’re a bit of an unknown quantity, but they’ve not lost a game against any of their four Group A rivals. They’ve won two and drawn three against Montenegro, won six and drawn four against Bulgaria, with two wins and one draw against the Czech Republic.
England captain Harry Kane is likely to be the man firing the Three Lions forward fresh off the back of his Golden Boot win at the 2018 World Cup. Raheem Sterling is also a man in form and having one of his best seasons to date for Manchester City.
Southgate’s investment in youth could also help his side. Their fearless nature means players like Jadon Sancho, Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi will want to perform on the big stage to show what they can do. There’s also the perfect balance between experience and youth in the squad which will only help the team in the long run.
Harry Maguire has been the focal point of England’s defence since the 2018 World Cup, as well as a threat on set-pieces. The ball-playing centre-half has the ability to perform a vital block before spreading the ball long and creating a chance in the opposition’s box.
The Three Lions are two matches into their qualifiers, winning both at relative ease. On Matchday one, England thrashed Czech Republic 5-0 at Wembley thanks to a Sterling hat-trick, a Kane penalty and a Tomas Kalas own goal.
On Matchday two, despite falling behind to Montenegro, Southgate’s side ran our 5-1 winners at the City Stadium, Podorica. Michael Keane, Kane and Sterling all grabbed a goal apiece, with Ross Barkley scoring a brace.
Scotland Euro 2020 qualifying
Top Scorer: Kenny McLean & Johnny Russell – 1 Goal
Key Players: Andrew Robertson, James Forrest, Ryan Fraser
With Belgium as outright favourites to win Group B, Scotland are left to battle with Russia for second spot and a qualification place. Like England, they too have a play-off spot guaranteed to fall back on should they fail to get out of the group.
After a poor start in their first meeting with Kazakhstan on Matchday one, losing 3-0, they went on to win their seventh straight game over San Marino 2-0 on Matchday two, thanks to goals from Kenny McLean and Johnny Russell.
In two games with Russia, they’ve shared the spoils in both, but they have a great record against Cyprus, with five wins from five.
Belgium are Scotland’s trickiest tie, and they’ve not got a good record against the Red Devils, losing 11 and winning only four. Their last win over Belgium came in 1987, and they’re on a four game losing streak again Roberto Martinez’s side.
It’ll be a straight shoot-out between them and Russia for the second-spot, so those games will be crucial to deciding who goes through.
Ollie McBurnie has been on fire for Swansea City this campaign, and if he takes his shooting boots to international duty with him, he could fire Scotland to the finals. Kenny Mclean has tied down a Norwich City starting spot recently and been in great form. He could provide creativity in the middle of the pitch to draw Scotland forward.
Andrew Robertson has been a revolution at Liverpool and he’s taken the Scottish armband too. While his defending is excellent, his crosses provide a threat which McBurnie can thrive on.
Northern Ireland Euro 2020 qualifying
Top Scorer: Steven Davis, Jonny Evans, Josh Magennis & Niall McGinn – 1 Goal
Key Players: Steven Davis, Kyle Lafferty, Will Grigg
Northern Ireland sit in a league of their own in Group C. Germany and Netherlands are the favourites to qualify with the superior squads that they have, but Michael O’Neill’s side sit a class above Estonia and Belarus.
They’ll find it tough to make it out of the group if Germany and Netherlands don’t slip up at all, but they’ll need to make sure that they win their games against Estonia and Belarus to be in the prime place to take advantage of a slip up.
In 17 meetings with Germany, they’ve won twice and lost 11 times including their last seven. They’ve only faced Netherlands six times, but they’ve lost three and won once. Their only win game in 1965, and the last match ended 6-0 to Netherlands.
They’ve won both previous meetings with Belarus, and have a winning record against Estonia too, winning three and losing two.
Will Grigg gained popularity during Euro 2016 and grabbed the hearts of thousands. He’s moved on from Wigan to become Sunderland’s front man, but he’s still a threat anytime he’s on the pitch and has an eye for a goal.
Steven Davis has more than enough experience to help his side through. It could be one of his last chances to play at another tournament, so he’ll be hoping to hit top form to get his country to the finals.
Northern Ireland got off to the best possible start in their tough group. On Matchday one, McGinn and Davis scored to hand the hosts a 2-0 win over Estonia at Windsor Park in Belfast. On Matchday two, they beat Belarus 2-1 with Evans and Magennis grabbing the goals either side of the equaliser.
Wales Euro 2020 qualifying
Top Scorer: Daniel James – 1 Goal
Key Players: Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey
Wales are one of the favourites to advance from their group along with World Cup runners-up Croatia. Their record against the Croatian team isn’t great viewing, with one draw and three losses in their four meetings.
Head to head records against the other three sides in the group are considerably better, and leave Wales in a good place to qualify for the finals if they can maintain that form. After losing their first meeting with Slovakia in 2005, they’ve gone on to win the next three including a win in the last European Championship.
They’ve won five of their 10 matches against Hungary, including their last two. Azerbaijan haven’t put up much resistance to the Welsh side, with The Dragons claiming five wins and a draw in their six previous meetings.
Gareth Bale has been the star for Wales for years, and that doesn’t appear to be slowing up anytime soon despite the youth prospects coming through. He’s still their talisman and has all the qualities required to fire them to qualification.
Aaron Ramsey is joining one of the biggest clubs in world football in the summer in Juventus, which says a lot about his quality. He’s always fantastic when he plays in a Welsh shirt, and his attacking midfield role allows him the freedom to create whenever he can.
Wales have only played one of their fixtures so far, and that ended in them picking up their first three points of the qualifying campaign. Daniel James scored the only goal of the game as they beat Slovakia 1-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Republic of Ireland Euro 2020 qualifying
Top Scorer: Jeff Hendrick & Conor Hourihane – 1 Goal
Key Players: James McClean, Jeff Hendrick, Seamus Coleman
Denmark and Switzerland are the favourites to get through Group D, but it’s a close run thing with the Republic of Ireland. It would be crazy to rule them out of the running as they may thrive as underdogs under new management in the form of Mick McCarthy.
Ireland have lost four of their 17 games against Denmark, winning five and drawing eight, so there’s all to play for. They’ve got the better of Switzerland on eight occasions, while losing five times. Records like this against the two favourites should sit well for the Irish.
They’ve not lost against the other two in the group, and boast a three game winning streak over Gibraltar. They’ve played Georgia nine times and won eight, though their last meeting was a 1-1 draw in Tbilisi.
Seamus Coleman has been a fixture in the Irish side for a number of years, providing reliable defensive cover down the right flank as well as an added attacking threat coming forward. James McClean often flourishes in an Irish shirt. Of those players to receive a call up, he’s the most prolific with 10 goals in the famous green and white shirt.
Their qualifying campaign got off to a slow start at the Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar on Matchday one, with Hendrick scoring the only goal of the game to beat their hosts 1-0. On Matchday two, Hourihane grabbed the only goal in a 1-0 win over Georgia at the Aviva Stadium.
The best of the rest…
Key Players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Leroy Sane, Christian Eriksen, Robert Lewandowski, Virgil Van Dijk
Some of the European elite will also be trying to get their team to the European Championships. Cristiano Ronaldo tasted success at Euro 2016, and he’ll be hungry for more. His Portugal side are favourites to progress.
Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba are the shining stars for France. The World Champions are looking for back to back tournament wins and are favourites to do so. They should qualify with ease.
Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne are the main men for Belgium. They’re the number one ranked side in world football and have a favourable group.
Leroy Sane is one of the main figures in a new and revitalised Germany side, and alongside Virgil Van Dijk and his Netherlands side, both nations should get through to next summer’s tournament.
Christian Eriksen and Robert Lewandowski are both huge names, with Eriksen’s popularity picking up in the last season. Lewandowski is a clinical goalscorer and should fire Poland to the finals while being in the hunt for the qualifiers top scorer award too. Eriksen is instrumental in Denmark’s creativity, and they’re favoured to make it through too.