Eng­land handed ‘kind’ Euro draw

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

FOOT­BALL: Eng­land ap­pear to have been granted a com­fort­able-look­ing pas­sage to Euro 2020.

Gareth South­gate’s men, who reached the World Cup semi­fi­nals in the sum­mer, will take on the Czech Re­pub­lic, Bul­garia, Mon­tene­gro and Kosovo next year to reach the fi­nals, which will be staged in cities across the con­ti­nent.

North­ern Ire­land were handed an ex­tremely toughlook­ing draw and will face Hol­land and Ger­many, as well as Es­to­nia and Be­larus in Group C.

The Re­pub­lic of Ire­land had ini­tially been drawn into Group C but could not take a place there due to there be­ing too many host coun­tries in one group, so Mick McCarthy’s team were in­stead placed in Group D along­side Switzer­land, Den­mark, Ge­or­gia and Gi­bral­tar.

Wales will face World Cup fi­nal­ists Croa­tia in Group E, which also con­tains Slo­vakia, Hun­gary and Azer­baijan. Scot­land are up against Bel­gium, Rus­sia, Cyprus, Kaza­khstan and San Marino in Group I.

Eng­land have never played the Czechs in a com­pet­i­tive match since the break-up of Cze­choslo­vakia, with one win and one draw from two pre­vi­ous friendly en­coun­ters.

Sim­i­larly, they have not faced Kosovo be­fore. Kosovo only gained FIFA mem­ber­ship in 2016.

Eng­land beat Bul­garia home and away en route to qual­i­fi­ca­tion for Euro 2012 and also faced them in qual­i­fy­ing for the 2000 and 1980 fi­nals.

Mon­tene­gro were qual­i­fi­ca­tion op­po­nents for Eng­land for Euro 2012, and also for the 2014 World Cup fi­nals. Eng­land have only beaten them once, draw­ing the other three en­coun­ters.

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