The FIFA U20 World Cup draw is made in Luxor this Sunday.
England U20s will be heading to Egypt this September to compete in the FIFA U20 World Cup and the Young Lions will find out who they will be facing in the initial stage of the tournament this weekend.
The Young Lions sealed a place in the World Cup following their exploits in last year's UEFA European U19 Championship when they reached the last eight and preparations for the competition are already underway with England picking up a 2-0 victory over Italy at Loftus Road on Tuesday night.
The first draw for the competition takes place on Sunday evening at the Luxor Temple, as six groups of four teams will be drawn out from the 24 nations who have qualified for the Tournament.
It promises to be an exciting event with a variety of teams from all regions of the globe involved and some notable absentees too.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is from South America, as holders and Olympic champions Argentina have missed out on being able to defend their title. The teams from South America to have qualified are Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela, who are in the Finals for the first time in their history.
Egypt were obviously the first team to be confirmed as the hosts and the African contingent is completed by Cameroon, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria, with the latter two predicted to make the strongest challenge. Ghana finished in fourth place during the 2007 U17 World Cup, whilst the Nigerians will be led into the competition by Samson Siasia, who coached Nigeria U23s to an Olympic Silver last September.
The European teams to be in the competition aside from the Young Lions include Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain and Hungary, so it’s something of a surprise that the likes of France and Netherlands won’t be making the jaunt to North Africa.
Another big surprise is that Mexico won’t be involved from the CONCACAF region, where Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago and USA qualified along with Costa Rica, who actually won their regional tournament with a 3-0 win against the US.
Tahiti became the first nation from Oceania to qualify outside of Australia and New Zealand, with a 2-1 win over the Kiwis being the highlight of their qualification.
The move of Australia to the AFC region perhaps helped Tahiti, but the Socceroos will also be in Egypt and they join Korea Republic and United Arab Emirates from the Asian zone.
The full list of nations involved in the Egypt 2009 is: England, Italy, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Egypt, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, USA, Costa Rica, Tahiti, Australia, Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan