Saturday’s UEFA EURO 2020 finals draw placed England in a group with two of their most recent opponents.
England’s place in Group D was already known by dint of London being a tournament host city so the focus of the draw from our perspective was the two teams who’d be joining one of the qualifying play-off winners in facing England at Wembley next June.
England were drawn into position D1 in the group and quickly followed by the group’s Pot 2 side, Croatia, who dropped into position D2 – England’s first fixture.
Croatia’s name carries an element of unpleasantness for England after defeating Gareth Southgate’s team at FIFA World Cup 2018, when the relative midfield quality of the two sides was striking.
We have played since, though, and England beat Croatia at Wembley in their second UEFA Nations League meeting. The first finished goalless behind closed doors in Rijeka.
D4 – England’s last fixture – is Czech Republic, who beat England in Prague in qualifying just a few weeks ago. They were incredibly poor when England destroyed them at Wembley, however.
The middle fixture will be against the winner of Play-Off Path C, which contains one possibility of particular note.
The two semi-finals take place on March 26th and see Scotland host Israel while Serbia travel to Norway. The two finalists play in either Norway or Serbia on March 31st and the winner will join Group D.
England’s EURO fixtures
England v Croatia (Wembley, London)
Sunday 14th July 2020
England v Play-Off Path C Winner (Wembley, London)
Friday 19th July 2020
Czech Republic v England (Wembley, London)
Tuesday 23rd July 2020