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England draws Wales as Euro 2016 group stage is set


Two United Kingdom sides will face off from the start in Euro 2016, as England has been drawn with Wales into Group B in next summer’s competition.

Elsewhere, Group E can be dubbed the tournament’s group of death with Belgium, Italy and Sweden all looking to advance.

Behind Gareth Bale and company, Wales managed to qualify for their first major finals since 1958, but it now faces a daunting task in competing against Russia to make it out of the group.

Hosts France will fancy Group A, as Switzerland will likely be the only other country to put up a fight against the World Cup 2014 quarter-finalists.

The World Cup champions in Germany will face tricky competition with Robert Lewandowski and Poland in Group C, but will also look to slide past Ukraine and Northern Ireland.

Group D will see the Euro 2012 champions in Spain go up against Turkey, Croatia and the Czech Republic in order to defend its title. Belgium, Italy, Ireland and Sweden make up Group E. To finish it off, Portugal will battle the pool of Iceland, Austria and Hungary in Group F.

With the expansion of the competition from 16 to 24 teams, the four best third-place finishers, as well as the top two finishers in each group, will advance to the knockout rounds of Euro 2016.

Here’s a closer look at the EURO 2016 draw:

Group A: France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland

Group B: England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia

Group C: Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland

Group D: Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia

Group E: Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Sweden

Group F: Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary


What do you think of the draw? Who do you foresee making a run to the final? Which Group Stage games are you looking forward to most?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


  1. There are no groups of death because only 8 of 24 teams go out after the group stage. I’m fine with this expanding to 24 but I prefer the 1982 world cup format where only 12 make it to the next stage.

    • Indeed, “group of death” implies that at least 1, and maybe 2, top teams won’t advance. Since 4 of the 6 groups here will send through all but one team, perhaps a few of these would best be called a “Group of Harm”.

  2. Agreed: Group D is the Group of Death: Croats and Turks have world class players, Spain is Spain, and the Czechs are very solid.

    As to Group E, Italians are going through a generation change. When you are relying on Al Sharawi and 700 year old Buffon, it spells trouble. Irish are kinda awful-kick and run style of anti-football.

    The Swedes are a one-man team, and Belgium can be really good or really poor on any given day.

    • Did you not watch Ireland in qualifying? The Irish played some very good football at times, and gave Germany problems. I don’t think they’ll make it through the group, but they hardly play terribly.

    • Italy is still a top team and a contender, because of their rock solid defense. The Juve core of Barzagli, Chiellini, Bonucci, Marchisio, & Sturaro are top notch, and don’t forget Conte was their coach for years. Also, 700 year old Buffon is still probably the 2nd or 3rd best keeper in the world


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