Euro 2020 qualifying: All you need to know
Euro 2020 qualifying is getting underway. Find out the groups, how many teams qualify and how the playoffs and finals map out.
What are the groups?
GROUP A: England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo
GROUP B: Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg
GROUP C: Netherlands, Germany, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Belarus
GROUP D: Switzerland, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Georgia, Gibraltar
GROUP E: Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan
GROUP F: Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Faroe Islands, Malta
GROUP G: Poland, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, Macedonia, Latvia
GROUP H: France, Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova, Andorra
GROUP I: Belgium, Russia, Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, San Marino
GROUP J: Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Greece, Armenia, Liechtenstein
How do nations qualify for Euro 2020?
There will be 24 nations at Euro 2020. As the finals are being played across Europe, there is no host nation.
The top two teams in each group qualify automatically, meaning there are 20 places up for grabs from the 10 groups.
There are then four places via playoffs. There will be 16 participating teams, allocated based on UEFA Nations League group positions and performance to those that have not qualified directly.
When will the qualifying group games be played?
The match dates are all in 2019 and as follows:
What is the format of the playoffs?
Sixteen nations will take part in the playoffs.
There will be four playoff routes, each with four nations taking part.
Each route will have two semifinals and a final. All games are one-off matches, and not two-legged.
In the semifinals, the best-ranked team of those to qualify to the playoff path (as per the list in the next section) will be at home to face the fourth-ranked team, and the second-ranked team will host the third-best team.
The home team in each final will be drawn in November 2019 and will not be based on ranking.
So who will qualify for the Euro 2020 playoffs?
Check out this handy video UEFA has created to explain the playoffs.
In its purest form, the winners of each of the 16 groups across the four UEFA Nations League levels (A, B, C and D) will go to the playoffs. It means we will see a minimum of one team from each of the weaker Leagues C and D at Euro 2020.
However, at least half of the Nations League group winners are likely to qualify for Euro 2020 automatically, so who takes their place in the playoff route? It goes to the next-best-ranked team at that League level.
This is the ranked order in which nations will be granted a playoff, should they need it:
League A: England, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Poland, Germany, Iceland
How will the playoff fixtures be created?
Remember, best-ranked will face worst-ranked at home in the semifinals.
Let's take League C as an example, as the top-ranked nations in Leagues A and B are likely to qualify automatically.
If all four of the group winners require a playoff, then the semifinals would be Scotland vs. Finland and Norway vs. Serbia. That's first vs. fourth and second vs. third.
If, say, Serbia qualified automatically, then the playoffs would be Scotland vs. Bulgaria and Norway vs. Finland. That's first vs. fifth and second vs. fourth.
How your team can qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 via the UEFA Nations League: pic.twitter.com/jUUyYYlCXf— UEFA (@UEFA) April 1, 2014
What if there are not enough nations for a League playoff?
With 20 teams qualifying automatically, and the 24 strongest nations in Leagues A and B, it is highly probable that most, if not all, of the 20 will come from those two leagues.
So that means, in all probability, there will not be four teams in Leagues A and/or B that have not qualified automatically.
If Leagues A and/or B need additional nations to create the playoff fixtures, they most likely will be added from League C.
As a result, it means that eight teams in League C (rather that four) probably will get a route to the finals (either automatically or via a playoff).
When are the playoffs?
The playoffs will be played on March 26-28 and 29-31 in 2020, less than three months before the finals begin.
When is Euro 2020 and where is it played?
The finals will be hosted across Europe for this edition of the European Championship, running June 12 to July 12.
If a host nation from a particular group qualifies automatically, it will be pre-drawn into that group. So if both England and Scotland do so, they will meet in the group stage of Euro 2020. If both hosts qualify automatically, there will be a draw to decide who plays at home.
Group A: Stadio Olimpico, Rome (Italy) and Olympic Stadium, Baku (Azerbaijan)
Group B: Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg (Russia) and Parken Stadium, Copenhagen (Denmark)
Group C: Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Arena Naționala, Bucharest (Romania)
Group D: Wembley Stadium, London (England) and Hampden Park, Glasgow (Scotland)
Group E: San Mames, Bilbao (Spain) and Aviva Stadium, Dublin (Republic of Ireland)
Group F: Allianz Arena, Munich (Germany) and Ferenc Puskas Stadium, Budapest (Hungary)
Round of 16: Wembley Stadium, London (England), Parken Stadium, Copenhagen (Denmark), Arena Naționala, Bucharest (Romania), Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam (Netherlands), Aviva Stadium, Dublin (Republic of Ireland), San Mames, Bilbao (Spain), Ferenc Puskas Stadium, Budapest (Hungary), Hampden Park, Glasgow (Scotland)
Quarterfinals: Allianz Arena, Munich (Germany), Olympic Stadium, Baku (Azerbaijan), Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg (Russia), Stadio Olimpico, Rome (Italy)
Semifinals and final: Wembley Stadium, London (England)