England handed comfortable Euro 2016 draw

SATISFIED: Roy Hodgson will be pleased with England's qualifying draw for the 2016 European Championships

SATISFIED: Roy Hodgson will be pleased with England's qualifying draw for the 2016 European Championships

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

ENGLAND have received a favourable draw in this morning's qualifying draw for the 2016 European Championships.

Roy Hodgson's side have been drawn with Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino in Group E of qualifying for the tournament, which will take place in France.

With the European Championships expanding to 24 teams, the top two teams from all of the qualifying sections will be guaranteed a place in the finals.

The best third-placed side will also qualify, with the other teams finishing in third position entering the play-offs.

The Switzerland ties will pitch Hodgson against the nation he led to the 1994 World Cup finals in the United States and the 1996 Euros in England.

The Swiss qualified successfully for this summer's World Cup in Brazil, but England successfully avoided some of the stronger sides in the second pot of teams.

Similarly, Slovenia were not the strongest potential opponents from pot three, and England will be confident of beating Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino from the lower ranked teams.

Elsewhere, Scotland and Republic of Ireland have been drawn with Gibraltar in Group D, while Wales face a tough task against Belgium, Israel and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Group B.

The fixture lists for the qualifying programme should be confirmed shortly.

 

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