Football | Euro 2020 qualifying groups revealed

Football | Euro 2020 qualifying groups revealed
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The Republic of Ireland have drawn Denmark, Switzerland, Georgia, and Gibraltar in their Euro 2020 qualification group.

The Boys in Green were initially placed in Group C, but escaped a challenging group including Germany and the Netherlands due to FIFA’s hosting rule.

Instead, Mick McCarthy’s team have been drawn in Group D after this morning’s draw at the Convention Centre in Dublin.

Denmark are familiar foes, having faced Ireland four times – and remaining unbeaten – in the last 13 months.

Georgia were in Ireland’s 2018 World Cup qualification group, with the Boys in Green taking four points from the two clashes.

McCarthy’s last game in his first spell as Ireland manager was a home defeat to Switzerland, who have been in excellent form of late.

The top two will progress from each group, with another four overall places up for grabs through the UEFA Nations League play-offs.

Ireland’s qualification will kick off in March, with the fixtures to be finalized later today.

“They explained before that there were certain things that couldn’t happen,” Mick McCarthy told RTÉ afterwards after Ireland escaped Group C.

“I looked at Nuno (Gomes) when he picked it and he looked at Robbie (Keane) and he looked at Ronnie (Whelan) so we knew who it was. So, it was a surprise (to get taken out).

“I’m not saying our group is easier but the Netherlands and Germany would have been a really tough ask and then of course Michael O’Neill (Northern Ireland manager) got it.

“I think everyone is asking me is it an ‘easy’ draw. It’s not because Georgia was one I looked at in Pot 4 that’s a tough one because we’ve played them before and they’ve always had good teams.”

Northern Ireland had no such luck.

Michael O’Neill’s side have been placed in Group C alongside Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, and Belarus.

England will fancy their chances of topping Group A, where they are joined by the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Kosovo.

In Group E, Wales will face Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Azerbaijan.

Here is the draw in full:

Group A – England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo

Group B – Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg

Group C – Netherlands, Germany, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Belarus

Group D – Switzerland, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Georgia, Gibraltar

Group E – Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan

Group F – Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Faroe Islands, Malta

Group G – Poland, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, Macedonia, Latvia

Group H – France, Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova, Andorra

Group I – Belgium, Russia, Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, San Marino

Group J – Italy, Bosina and Herzegovina, Finland, Greece, Armenia, Liechtenstein

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