England qualified comfortably for Euro 2016, winning all their games in a convincing showing to top Group E.
The Three Lions have been seeded in pot one for the tournament, and will be glad that they’ll avoid the likes of Spain and Germany in the group stage.
Pot One: Spain, Germany, England, Portugal, Belgium
Pot Two: Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, Ukraine
Pot Three: Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary
Pot Four: Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Iceland, Wales, Albania, Northern Ireland
However, Roy Hodgson’s men have a high chance of facing another home nation at the start, with Wales and both Republic and Northern Ireland all situated in pot four.
Shoot looks at the best and worst outcomes for England when the draw takes place on December 12…
Best Outcome: England, Switzerland, Hungary, Albania
Pot Two: Switzerland – Having beaten the Swiss comfortably both home and away in qualifying, they would be happy to have them as the team they play from pot two. The two 2-0 results showed a sign of intent from the Three Lions, brushing past their main competitor in qualifying to reach the finals comfortably. A few teams in the pot could cause England problems, and so Switzerland would be a welcomed draw.
Pot Three: Hungary – Having qualified for the tournament by beating Norway in the play-offs, Hungary do have a few threatening players in their squad. Captain Balazs Dzsudzsak is the most notable flair player, but England would be expected to beat them comfortably. Failing to qualify automatically in a fairly easy group, Hungary showed signs of weakness, which Roy Hodgson’s men should capitalise on.
Pot Four: Albania – A surprise inclusion in the tournament, especially through automatic qualification, Albania will be looking to cause an upset in France. Having not qualified for a major tournament before, England would look to capitalise on their lack of experience to perform on the big stage. Albania may provide a tougher test than expected, but the Three Lions should come out on top.
Worst Outcome: England, Italy, Czech Republic, Wales
Pot Two: Italy – A team who can up their game for major tournaments, Italy are without a doubt the toughest team placed in pot two. Although the squad isn’t what it used to be, they still have some very dangerous players, in Sebastian Giovinco, Antonio Candreva and Southampton’s Graziano Pelle. Finishing top of a group including Croatia and Norway, as well as remaining unbeaten, shows that the 2012 finalists can be a force, and England may buckle again under their pressure.
Pot Three: Czech Republic – The Czech’s surprised many with their showing in qualifying, beating Turkey away and doing the double over group favourites Holland. They finished top of the group, having only lost two games all campaign, and will be hoping to take their momentum into the tournament. The Three Lions have only faced the Czech’s twice before, with one win and one draw. However, this is a rejuvenated side that believe they can cause an upset under Pavel Vrba.
Pot Four: Wales – Facing a home nation is always a difficult task, but doing so at their first European Championship adds a lot of extra pressure to the occasion. Wales beat Belgium on their way to finishing second in qualifying, and they will be full of confidence heading to France. Gareth Bale could cause Roy Hodgson’s men all kinds of problems and an extra incentive of beating a bigger nation could be one Chris Coleman’s men rise too.