REVEALED: England’s easiest potential draw in the Euro 2024 group stage, with a combined world ranking of 142, while one opponent will be competing at just their second major tournament
- The Euro 2024 group stage draw is set to take place on Saturday, December 2
- England will be one of the six top seeds following their qualifying display
- Trent and Bellingham can play together but can’t get in each other’s way – IAKO
The potential easiest group England could be drawn in at Euro 2024 next summer has been revealed.
Gareth Southgate’s side qualified for their eighth successive major tournament with ease last month following a 3-1 victory over Italy at Wembley.
They faced two further Euro 2024 qualifying fixtures over the past week, beating Malta 2-0 last Friday and drawing 1-1 with North Macedonia on Monday evening and are now all set for the tournament’s group stage draw on December 2.
19 other teams have also secured automatic qualification for the tournament, alongside hosts Germany, with the three final spots to be decided by the play-offs which take place in March 2024.
The Three Lions will be top seeds next summer by virtue of their qualifying performance and Sky Sports have calculated their potential friendliest group stage opponents based on those teams to have already secured their place in Germany.
England’s potential easiest draw in the Euro 2024 group stage next summer has been revealed
They reached their eighth major tournament in a row after an unbeaten qualifying campaign
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With the current state of play, Mail Sport reported how a nightmare draw for England – who are one of six top seeds for the six groups – will see them faced with games against the Netherlands, Croatia and Denmark.
However, on the contrary England’s potential easiest draw would see them pitted against Albania, Slovenia and Serbia.
Albania reached just their second ever major tournament after impressively topping a qualifying group that included the Czech Republic and Poland, but they are ranked at world No 59.
Their only previous appearance on the big stage was Euro 2016 when they crashed out in the group stages.
Meanwhile, Slovenia only came behind Denmark in qualifying by virtue of their head-to-head record after winning seven of their 10 games.
However, they are still ranked 54th in the world and barring RB Leipzig wonderkid Benjamin Sesko, they do lack star names.
Elsewhere, Serbia are regular fixtures at major tournaments but haven’t reached the knockout stages of any competition since Euro 2000.
Despite relative high hopes for the side at the World Cup last year, they ended up finishing bottom of a group which featured Brazil, Switzerland and Cameroon, picking up just a solitary point in a hectic 3-3 draw against the Central African side.
Their potential easiest draw based on the teams to have currently qualified would include Albania (pictured) – who reached just their second major tournament – Serbia and Slovenia
Slovenia and RB Leipzig wonderkid Benjamin Sesko would pose the biggest danger to England
Serbia are a solid side but haven’t reached the knockout stages of a tournament since 2000
Nevertheless, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Co would be the highest ranked of England’s opposition at world no 29.
In total, these three potential opponents would have a combined ranking world ranking of 142.
This would be 106 places more than the potential toughest group the Three Lions could face.
It must be noted that with the remaining qualifying fixtures taking place on Tuesday evening, plus the play-off rounds in March, this could still all change, but there is potentially a huge difference in the calibre of England’s opposition depending on next month’s draw.
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