Preview: Eagerly anticipated Euro 2016 qualifying draw arrives
On Sunday morning in Nice, the qualifying draw for the 2016 European Champi0nships hosted by France takes place as 53 nations from across Europe will learn their fate.
Euro 2016 sees a new format ushered in as 24 teams will now be involved in the finals, that’s an increase from the 16 teams who usually make it through, plus hosts France automatically qualify for the tournament.
With that in mind, it should be an incredible tournament as Europe’s best 24 nations arrive in France for a feast of soccer in 2016. The teams have been split into six pots, based on their rankings and previous performances in the tournament. In pot 1 there is Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Russia and Bosnia-Hercegovina. And with so many strong teams in Europe, the likes of Ukraine, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden and Croatia find themselves in pot 2, so there will be plenty of tasty fixtures.
Also worth noting, the tiny nation of Gibraltar will be competing for the first time after many years of trying to become a UEFA member finally paid off.
To qualify for the tournament outright, teams need to finish in the top two of their group, but this time the best third-placed side also goes through and the other eight third-placed teams go into a playoff to make the tournament.
Qualifying begins on September 7 2014 and runs until October 13 2015, as the draw for the finals will be held on December 12 2015 and it kicks off in France on June 10 2016.
Stay logged on to ProSoccerTalk for full details of the draw as it happens.
Full list of seedings:
Pot 1: Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Pot 2: Ukraine, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Republic of Ireland.
Pot 3: Serbia, Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Norway, Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Poland.
Pot 4: Montenegro, Armenia, Scotland, Finland, Latvia, Wales, Bulgaria, Estonia, Belarus.
Pot 5: Iceland, Northern Ireland, Albania, Lithuania, Moldova, FYR Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Cyprus.
Pot 6: Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar.