Roy 'excited' to see what is in store for England at Euros

Thursday 10 Dec 2015
Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson heads to Paris on Saturday in anticipation of learning who England’s opponents at the UEFA Euro 2016 Finals will be.

Hodgson will be one of 24 managers and head coaches at the draw in the French capital as the competing nations will find out where and when they will play their group games. 

Euro 2016 Finals draw

5pm GMT, Saturday 12 December
Live on BBC Two or follow via Twitter @England

And while the England boss is intrigued and excited to see who his side will have to face, he says it will also pave the way for he and his staff to put their final preparations for next summer’s tournament in place. 

“I’m looking forward to the draw and to see what comes out of it,” said Hodgson, who took charge of England on the eve of the Euro 2012 kick-off. 

“It’s exciting to see what fate has in store for us and what games we have to look forward to, but in terms of preparation and speculation I’ll leave that to others. 

“It is a pure hazard in terms of how the balls come out of the pot and where you find yourself and who you find yourself playing against.” 

Watch all of England's goals in Euro 2016 qualifying

He continued: “Our final friendlies are the important things now. We’ve got everything else in place as we would like it. 

“We have painstakingly assembled our schedule, so we have plans we think could work very well, but what’s missing in that schedule are the actual friendly matches we want to play before going to France to take part in the tournament itself. 

“All we need to do after the draw is to make certain we find the right opponents for those match dates we have set aside.” 

Roy Hodgson talks to his players

Roy Hodgson talks to his players during training

The Three Lions will be one of six seeded teams in the draw thanks to their 100 per cent record in qualifying for the Finals. 

They have lost only once since the World Cup in Brazil, when they went down 2-0 to the Spanish in Alicante in their November friendly, and have enjoyed good performances and results in competitive and friendly fixtures – and they hope to continue that into the new year. 

They meet Germany in Berlin on 26 March before facing world cup semi-finalists Holland at Wembley three days later, and Hodgson is keen his side tests themselves against top-quality opposition before the summer. 

Their seeding means they cannot face any of the others countries in pot one – holders Spain, world champions Germany, Portugal, Belgium and hosts France – until the knockout stages. 

However, Hodgson is under no illusion that all the other teams arriving in France in June will be capable of causing an upset. 

Wayne Rooney doubled England

Captain Wayne Rooney scored against Euro 2016 hosts France in November

“The beauty is that this good run of form has put us among the top seeds, there was only five places, so it was good to get one of those five,” he said. 

“To be in that top pool and avoid five other very strong teams is obviously a very big advantage. But of course, in the Euros, even in an expanded Euros like this one, you get a lot of very good teams and you certainly get a lot of teams that are hard to beat. 

“Even if you go down to the so-called weakest pool, there are lots of teams in there who are a quite capable of beating the top seeds on their day: Witness Republic of Ireland [1-0 win] against Germany, and that was in a qualifier not even a friendly.” 

Hodgson continued: “This is what we know we have there for us to confront, but it is still nicer to know that the top seeded teams we will avoid at least in the group stage. 


England could potentially face Ireland at Euro 2016

“And I am reasonably confident that we are hard to beat. In ten qualifying games we only conceded three goals. 

“Even in the matches we have played in the friendlies – and we’ve had difficult games against Scotland away, Ireland away, Italy away, Spain away and France and Norway at home – they have not been against anything like weaker opposition, but even then we’ve only conceded four goals, which is not too bad. 

“We’re not an easy team to score past and beat, which is good news for the future, and I think we have some very good quality players in our front six, all of whom could win a game for us. 

“So in terms of the make-up of our team I think we have reasons for optimism, but the Euros are a tough one to win, there are lots of teams out there who look good on paper as well. 

“It will come down to which team in the month of June is able to pull it off.”

How to watch England at Euro 2016

England fans’ best chance of being at matches at France 2016 is by becoming an England Supporters Travel Club member, and applying for tickets through The FA.

For full FAQs detailing how you can get to watch the Three Lions next summer, click here.

England's next home game is against Holland at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday 29 March 2016. Tickets are available to buy online, visit

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor