Euro 2020 draw: England to come up against Croatia

England suffered a 2-1 defeat to Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-final, before beating them in the Nations League.

England, who were drawn in Group D, will play their opening match at Wembley against Croatia on June 14. Gareth Southgate’s side will also play Czech Republic as well as the winners of the play-off C path, which could end up being Scotland.

The other possible opponents from that path are Israel, Norway and Serbia. The outcome of the play-offs will not be known until the end of March next year.

England will face the winner of play-off path C on June 19 and the Czechs on June 23.

Should England top Group D, they will play in Dublin against the runner-up in Group F which already contains France, Germany and Portugal.

The fourth team in Group F will be determined by the winner of play-off path A featuring Iceland, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. However, if Romania win that path, then the winner of play-off path D – which compromises Georgia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus – will be placed in Group F.

If England are runners-up in their group, they will face the country who finish second in Group E, which is comprised of Spain, Poland, Sweden and the winners of play-off path B.

With the prospect of topping the group throwing up a challenging tie, many could be forgiven for thinking Southgate would prefer to advance in second place – but he does not see it that way.

Southgate: We can control our destiny

“If you can win and be top seeds you can take control of your own destiny. Let’s hope we have that decision to make, we have to be confident in our own ability and take on whoever comes.

“I’m never sure what a good draw is.

“We have played at least two of the teams before and for us to be playing at Wembley is something very special and we are really looking forward to the tournament.”

Now England know which opponents they will face in the Euros, Sky Sports News understands the FA are in talks with the Italian football association over a proposed friendly at Wembley on Friday, March 27.

If it goes ahead, the game will be dedicated to the Duke of Cambridge’s ‘Heads Up’ mental health campaign.

Wales grouped with Italy, Turkey and Switzerland

Wales were placed in Group A and will come up against Italy, Turkey and Switzerland.

Italy, coached by former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, won all 10 of their qualifiers, having failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The last two times the sides met in Italy, the Azzurri won 4-0. Wales won their last meeting with Switzerland, a Euro qualifier in October 2011. Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale were the scorers.

The last time Wales played Turkey, in a qualifier for the 1998 World Cup, it ended 6-4 to the Turks with Hakan Sukur scoring four.

Giggs: All of our games are tough

Wales boss Ryan Giggs knows his side will play twice in Azerbaijan but is pleased their games there will be back-to-back.

“Logistically, looking at it, it is Baku, Baku, Rome,” he said.

“So rather than having Rome in the middle and having to go to Baku (twice) for us and the fans it is much better.

“At this stage they are all tough games, Switzerland are a good team and I watched their progress, Turkey were in a group with France and Iceland and did well to come out of that and of course Italy had a fantastic qualifying by winning every game.”

The opening match of the tournament will see Italy play Turkey on June 12 in Rome, while England’s national stadium Wembley will stage both semi-finals and the final.

Full Euro 2020 draw

Group A: Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales

Group B: Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Finland

Group C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, Playoff D winner*

Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Playoff C winner

Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden, Playoff B winner

Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, Playoff A winner*

Scotland are involved in Playoff path C with Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland involved in Playoff path B

*If Romania win Path A, they will be placed in Group C with the winner of Path D going into Group F

Analysis: Better for England to finish second?

Sky Sports’ Gerard Brand:

Bizarrely, just like at the 2018 World Cup, England may well want to finish second in their group, to avoid facing the runner-up of the feared Group F.

In Russia, finishing behind Belgium in their group provided arguably a simpler route to the semi-finals, facing Colombia and Sweden, while Belgium went up against Japan and Brazil.

At Euro 2020, if England win Group D, they will face the runner up of Group F, which includes Germany, World champions France, European champions Portugal and one of the play-off winners.

Finishing second would mean they face the runner-up of Group E, which currently includes Spain, Sweden, Poland and one of the play-off winners.

Where will England and Wales be playing?

England’s journey: all group matches at Wembley.

If they top their group, they’ll then travel to Dublin > Rome > Wembley for semi-final & final.

If they finish second: Copenhagen > St Petersburg > Wembley for semi-final and final.

If they finish third (and are in the top four third-place finishers), they’ll either travel to Glasgow, Bilbao or Budapest for the last-16 match.

Wales’ journey: group A matches in Rome (vs Italy) & Baku (vs Switzerland and Turkey).

If they top their group: Wembley > Munich > Wembley for semi-final and final.

If they finish second: Amsterdam > Baku > Wembley for semi-final and final.

If they finish third (and are in the top four third-place finishers), they’ll either travel to Bucharest, Glasgow or Bilbao for the last-16 match.

2019-12-01T12:51:21+00:00By |

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