England will face Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Kosovo in Euro Qualifiers

Sunday 02 Dec 2018
The draw was held in Dublin on Sunday morning with all 55 UEFA nations involved

England will take on Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Kosovo as they kick-start the qualifying stage for Euro 2020 next year.

The draw for the Euro Qualifiers was made in Dublin on Sunday morning, where the Three Lions were placed in Group A as the first name drawn out of the day.

From there, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Kosovo were drawn out alongside them from the remaining pots, based on UEFA’s pre draw seedings.

It will be the first meeting with the Czechs for over ten years, with the last meeting coming in August 2008 and a 2-2 draw at Wembley Stadium.

And Bulgaria were last in opposition during the Euro Qualifying stages for Euro 2012, with England winning 4-0 at Wembley in September 2010 and then 3-0 away in Sofia.

Montenegro have also had recent history against the Three Lions, holding us to a 1-1 draw in Podgorica during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup before England won 4-1 in the return fixture at Wembley.

But they did hold England to a 0-0 draw at Wembley in 2010 and a 2-2 draw on the road during the aforementioned Euro 2012 qualifiers.

The Euro 2020 qualifying draw took place in Dublin on Sunday morning

Kosovo is a new opponent for England, with the nations having never met following their official recognition as a national team by UEFA in 2016.

“We’ve obviously avoided some very big teams so we have to make sure our preparation for these games is spot on,” said Southgate.

“When you play some of the lesser known countries, the motivation for them to play against England is massive and with some of the games away from home, the atmosphere can be very intense.

“There’s no excuses for us, we need to make sure we’re prepared for every match and that we do the business on the pitch.

“But we’re in a good moment as a team and we want to keep that momentum going.”

Gareth Southgate was at Sunday's draw in Dublin

It will be the first time that Southgate has faced all of these teams in terms of his career as senior manager, but he admits he’s looking forward to starting his prep work ahead of March.

“Now is a chance to look at some other teams and their strengths and weaknesses,” he added.

“And they’ll have had competitive games in the Nations League themselves so that gives us an insight into how they’re likely to approach these matches.

“We’ve got a huge motivation to get to the Finals because we’re going to host matches at Wembley, so that should make sure complacency isn’t part of the equation.

“It’s not something we’ve seen from this group of players in the time we’ve worked with them and I don’t expect it to be the case now.”

The fixtures

England v Czech Republic - 7.45pm, Friday 22 March 2019, Wembley Stadium
Montenegro v England - 7.45pm, Monday 25 March 2019
England v Bulgaria - 5pm, Saturday 7 September 2019
England v Kosovo - 7.45pm, Tuesday 10 September 2019
Czech Republic - 7.45pm, Friday 11 October 2019
Bulgaria v England - 7.45pm, Monday 14 October 2019
England v Montenegro - 7.45pm, Thursday 14 November 2019
Kosovo v England - 5pm, Sunday 17 November 2019

All venues to be confirmed, aside from Czech Republic home game

The draw

Group A: England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo

Group B: Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg

Group C: Netherlands, Germany, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Belarus

Group D: Switzerland, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Georgia, Gibraltar

Group E: Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan

Group F: Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Faroe Islands, Malta

Group G: Poland, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia, Latvia

Group H: France, Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova, Andorra

Group I: Belgium, Russia, Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, San Marino

Group J: Italy, Bosnia & Hezegovina, Finland, Greece, Armenia, Liechtenstein

By FA Staff