The UEFA 2016 European Championships are played in France which is thus qualified as the home nation. The other European teams will fight for the remaining 23 spots in the tournament. The qualifiers are played in eight groups where the teams that finishes first and second horse goes directly to the UEFA 2016 along with the team with the best third place. The remaining teams that finishes in third place in their groups play a separately playoff for the remaining spots in the tournament.
The qualifying groups with comments:
Netherlands, Czech Republic, Turkey, Latvia, Iceland, Kazakhstan
The bronze medalists from the 2014 World Cup, Netherlands, are favorites. There should not be any team that can match their skills. We believe that Turkey gets the second place.
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium, Israel, Wales, Cyprus, Andorra
Belgium made it to the quarterfinals in the 2014 World Cup and there’s no reason to believe they do not win this group and go to the European Championship together with Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Spain, Ukraine, Slovakia, Belarus, Macedonia, Luxembourg
After Spain’s departure in the group stage of the World Cup their whole team and style of play is questioned. We still think they manage to win this group, closely chased by Ukraine and Slovakia.
Germany, Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Georgia, Gibraltar
World Cup winner Germany will continue their winning streak. They will win the group. The race for the second place in the group will be a tough fight between the british teams and Poland.
England, Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, San Marino
Switzerland made it to the finals of the World Cup, unlike England. We believe that both teams make it to the Championship in 2016 but we not dare to guess which team will win the group ..
Greece, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Northern Ireland, Faroe Islands
Greece is usually able to perform well before and in tournaments. They reached the knockout-stage of the World Cup. Of course they will make it to the European Championship but the question is which of the teams from the group that will follow them? Is it Finland’s time this year? Northern Ireland should never be ruled out. Hungary and Romania are good teams. Tough group!
Russia, Sweden, Austria, Montenegro, Moldova, Liechtenstein
The swedes did a decent qualifier before the 2014 World Cup but lost to Portugal in the playoffs. This year they will probably battle their way to the 2016 European Championships followed by Russia. Watch out for Austria!
Italy, Croatia, Norway, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Malta
An interesting group where World Cup participants Italy and Croatia can be considered as favorites.
Portugal, Denmark, Serbia, Armenia, Albania
The Danish team is assigned in a tough group where they battle with Portugal and Serbia for the group win. Christiano Ronaldo’s Portugal’s fiasco in the World Cup raises some question marks around the team.
For full fixtures, see this PDF from UEFA.
Matchday 1: 7-9 September
Matchday 2: 9-11 October
Matchday 3: 12-14 October
Matchday 4: 14-16 November
Matchday 5: 27-29 March
Matchday 6: 12-14 June
Matchday 7: 3-5 September
Matchday 8: 6-8 September
Matchday 9: 8-10 October
Matchday 10: 11-13 October
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