Chelsea will be strongly represented at the European Championship finals next summer so here we take a look at which Blues have qualified, who is still in contention and how the seeding will work for next week’s draw.
The majority of the national teams participating in the Euro 2020 next summer are now known, with only four more spots up for grabs in March’s play-offs.
What is the current state of play in Euro 2020 qualifying?
The qualification group stage has now concluded, with the top two from each of the 10 groups safely assured of a place at next summer’s finals. Of the national teams with Chelsea representation, that includes England, Germany, Croatia, Spain, France, Belgium and Italy, all as group winners, plus Wales and Denmark as group runners-up.
There is one final opportunity for qualification in March’s play-offs. However, unlike in previous years, the participants of the play-offs have been decided based on their performance in the inaugural 2018/19 UEFA Nations League, rather than their position in the Euro 2020 qualifying group stage. There will be 16 teams involved in the play-offs and four places at the final tournament up for grabs.
Which nations with Chelsea players have qualified?
Five Chelsea players have featured for Gareth Southgate’s side as the Three Lions comfortably secured qualification for their sixth successive major tournament, winning seven of their eight matches and averaging almost four goals a game.
Callum Hudson-Odoi made his England debut in the first Group A fixture against Czech Republic at Wembley and it would prove to be the first of a series of national team landmarks for our homegrown contingent throughout the next eight months.
Ross Barkley also featured as a substitute in that group opener and then bagged a brace three days later away in Podgorica as England hit five again in a 5-1 triumph. Involvement in the Nations League finals meant Southgate’s side did not feature in qualifying throughout the summer, though they picked up where they had left off in September, beating Bulgaria 4-0 and Kosovo 5-3.
Mason Mount made his senior international debut in the first of those matches, the start of a run that has seen him play in six consecutive qualifiers. For the October internationals, Tammy Abraham was back in the squad and made his first appearance for the team in almost two years as a late substitute away in Prague.
That was the only disappointing night of the qualifying campaign for England, who were beaten 2-1 by the Czechs. A month later, Abraham was celebrating his first senior international goal, netting the seventh in a big win over Montenegro, while Mount achieved the same milestone three days later against Kosovo on the same night that Fikayo Tomori made his national team debut.
All five will be hoping to make Southgate’s final tournament squad, which is due to be named in late May.
Antonio Rudiger has not featured for Joachim Low’s side at all this season due to the persistent injury problems that have restricted him to just 45 minutes of club action. In fact, the defender has played just one of Germany’s eight qualifiers, although it was an important night in Amsterdam as he helped the three-time European champions to a 3-2 victory over the Netherlands.
Those three points now seem significant as the Germans finished top of Group C, two points clear of their Dutch rivals.
The Danes left it late to secure their place at next summer’s tournament but Andreas Christensen was among those celebrating in Dublin this week as the visitors claimed the point they needed to secure second spot in Group D ahead of the Republic of Ireland.
Our 23 year-old centre-back has featured in all but one of Denmark’s qualifiers, missing the opening 3-3 draw against Switzerland before returning to the heart of defence and contributing towards a run of four consecutive clean sheets.
Mateo Kovacic helped the World Cup runners-up to a table-topping performance in Group E as they won five and drew two of their eight qualifiers, losing only in Budapest to Hungary. The midfielder missed that defeat in March but played five times overall as the Croatians secured qualification for their fifth successive European Championship finals.
Mario Pasalic, on loan last season and this term in Serie A, has also contributed with two substitute appearances in victories over Wales and Slovakia, and will be hoping to retain his place in the squad for the summer tournament.
The Welsh lost two of their opening three games in Group E to leave them facing an uphill battle to qualify, though their final-day victory over Hungary in Cardiff saw them snatch second place and a direct route to only their third major finals.
Ethan Ampadu missed the first two qualifiers but featured in the remainder as Ryan Giggs’s side won three and drew two to finish three points behind Croatia.
La Roja came flying out of the blocks in qualification and won their opening six games, with Kepa Arrizabalaga starting in four of those as the 25 year-old vied with David De Gea for the number one jersey throughout the campaign. That battle will likely continue right up until the finals, with the decision-making now returning to Luis Enrique following the former Barcelona boss’ return to the managerial post this week.
Spain remained unbeaten in 10 games as they continued their record of qualifying for every major tournament since 1992, with Alvaro Morata among their top scorers.
Ever-present Olivier Giroud topped the scoring charts in Group H and France topped the group itself following a tough battle with Turkey for first place. The two were neck-and-neck right up until the penultimate round of qualifiers, when Giroud’s penalty sealed a comeback win over Moldova for Didier Deschamps’s side on the same night the Turks drew with Iceland.
France finished two points clear as a result, having dropped four of a possible 30 points in total, and Giroud’s goals accounted for five of those points as he struck winners against Iceland and Moldova as well as coming off the bench to snatch a draw against Turkey in Paris.
Kurt Zouma was also among the goals for the reigning world champions, rounding off the scoring in a 4-0 win in Andorra in June, his only appearance in qualifying.
N’Golo Kante’s injury issues have meant he missed five of the last eight group games and France will be hoping he regains full fitness as they look to add the European crown to their FIFA World Cup won in 2018.
Belgium and Italy are the two sole teams to have won every game in qualification, with the Red Devils hitting 40 goals and conceding just three in a group containing Russia and Scotland. Only Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku netted more than Michy Batshuayi in those 10 matches, with the 26 year-old notching four in six appearances.
The Italians surprisingly missed out on appearing at the 2018 World Cup but there have been no mistakes from Roberto Mancini’s side in this qualification campaign as they have romped to the top of Group J with a 100 per cent record, conceding just four goals in the process.
Jorginho and his inimitable spot-kicks have featured throughout the second half of the group stage, with penalties converted against Finland, Greece and in this week’s big 9-1 victory over Armenia. The midfielder has missed just one game en route to the finals, while Emerson Palmieri featured in half the group matches.
And the rest?
Other group winners: Ukraine, Switzerland, Poland
Other group runners-up: Czech Republic, Portugal, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Turkey, Russia, Finland
What about the play-offs?
There are 16 national teams still harbouring hopes of reaching Euro 2020 through the play-offs, which will take place in four pathways at the end of March. They are Iceland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Bulgaria, Israel, Hungary, Romania, Georgia, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Belarus.
The draw for the play-offs takes place this Friday 22 Noveember.
When is the draw for Euro 2020?
The draw for the finals takes place in the Romanian capital Bucharest next Saturday 30 November. While only 20 of the tournament’s 24 teams will be known at this point, prior to March’s play-offs, the full draw will be made and the winners of each play-off allocated a group spot.
England have already been drawn into Group D as hosts and will open their tournament at Wembley on Sunday 14 June. Christensen and Batshuayi will go head-to-head in Group B, with some of those group games to be held in Copenhagen.
Who are the top seeds?
The six teams with the most points in Euro 2020 qualification will be drawn as top seeds, which includes England, Italy and Spain.
Pot A seeds – Belgium, Italy, England, Germany, Spain, UkrainePot B seeds – France, Poland, Switzerland, Croatia, Netherlands, RussiaPot C seeds – Portugal, Turkey, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Czech RepublicPot D seeds – Wales, Finland plus the four play-off winners
When and where is Euro 2020 being held?
To mark 60 years since the first-ever European Championship was held, this 16th edition will be hosted in 12 cities in 12 different European countries, starting on 12 June 2020 and finishing exactly a month later with the final on 12 July 2020.
The host cities and stadiums are:
• Johan Cruyff Arena (Amsterdam, Netherlands)• Olympic Stadium (Baku, Azerbaijan)• San Mames (Bilbao, Spain)• Arena Nationala (Bucharest, Romania)• Puskas Arena (Budapest, Hungary)• Parken Stadium (Copenhagen, Denmark)• Aviva Stadium (Dublin, Republic of Ireland)• Hampden Park (Glasgow, Scotland)• Wembley Stadium (London, England)• Allianz Arena (Munich, Germany)• Stadio Olimpico (Rome, Italy)• Krestovsky Stadium (Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Each stadium will host three group games, with the opener in Rome and both the semi-finals and final at Wembley.
There will be news of the draw for Euro 2020 on The 5th Stand app