UEFA has announced the seedings for the Euro 2016 finals draw next month, with England, Belgium and Portugal all included in Pot One.
World champions Germany are also named among the top seeds, along with Euro 2012 winners Spain and host nation France, who will automatically be drawn in Group A.
Italy – despite winning qualifying Group H – are in Pot Two, along with Switzerland, Russia, Austria and Croatia. Bosnia-Herzegovina will join them should they win their play-off tie, while Ukraine will take the remaining slot if they win and Mehmed Bazdarevic’s side lose, with Czech Republic in line for the position should both teams suffer defeat and they win.
Iceland, Wales, Albania and Northern Ireland are confirmed in Pot Four, while the remaining places will depend upon play-off results and the impact they have on the respective teams’ UEFA coefficient rankings.
“The national team coefficients are calculated on a country’s recent results. In the current rankings, 20 per cent weighting is given to UEFA Euro 2012 results (qualifying/final tournament), and 40% each to the 2014 FIFA World Cup (qualifying/final tournament) and UEFA Euro 2016 (qualifying),” UEFA confirmed.
The seedings for the play-off ties – to be held next month – have also been decided, with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sweden, Ukraine and Hungary designated as the seeded teams. They will each face one of the Republic of Ireland, Norway, Denmark or Slovenia.
Poland, Slovakia, Turkey and Romania are the four remaining qualified sides who must wait for the completion of the play-offs before knowing their seeding for the finals draw, which takes place on December 12 in Paris.
Speaking after the 3-0 win over Lithuania which confirmed England would earn a place among the top seeds, Roy Hodgson admitted it could prove valuable to their chances in France next year.
“If it’s true that this victory will ensure we’re seeded for the Euros I think that’s important too,” the England manager said to ITV.
“More and more we see in European football how hard it is to get results.
“All games are won by the odd goal, the really big teams are having to work harder and the teams we don’t maybe rank as highly are getting tougher and better organised.”