Few scares for Southgate's England after Euro 2020 qualifying draw

Gareth Southgate eyes golden era as path to home glory at Euro 2020 gets clearer

England have to qualify for the Euro 2020 tournament despite being among the twelve nations to have been granted a host city in a historic tournament, but Southgate hopes that will act as an extra incentive for his players to make it to the big show.

"The group is typically tough", said Germany head coach Joachim Loew, who is under pressure to bounce back after also crashing out of the World Cup in Russian Federation at the group stage.

The Three Lions will be wary of the Czech Republic but should be confident of seeing off Bulgaria, Montenegro and Kosovo who round out Group A.

"I would say it's a group with three candidates for two places, and Portugal are one of them", said Portugal coach Fernando Santos.

I'm not saying our group's easier but Netherlands and Germany would have been a really tough ask.

Defending champions Portugal were drawn against Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania and Luxembourg, with world champions France playing Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova and Andorra.

"Equally we're developing well as a team".

Group A: England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo.

Euro 2020 European Qualifier Draw – Convention Centre Dublin
Gareth Southgate was in Dublin on Sunday

Wales will face Croatia in Group E, but have a decent chance of claiming a top two finish with the other sides paired against them being Slovakia, Hungary and Azerbaijan.

Ireland have been handed a challenging group for the Euro 2020 qualifiers with Mick McCarthy's side drawn alongside Switzerland and Denmark.

While they certainly aren't guaranteed to qualify for Euro 2020, Irish football fans will be feeling more optimistic than this time last week.

This is the only group without any 2020 host country: Poland, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, Macedonia and Latvia.

Belgium, in Group I, face Russia, Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan and San Marino, while Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Greece, Armenia and Liechtenstein are in Group J.

20 teams will qualify via the normal route as group winners, while the remaining four spots will go down to the play-offs.

The 24-team lineup will be completed in March 2020 when the last four places at the tournament are decided through a new playoff system.

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