1.4 C
New York
Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Euro 2024: How teams can qualify, playoff system, draw seeds

The last round of qualifiers on the road to Euro 2024 will see the final automatic places secured, while we’ll find out the 12 countries that face playoffs in March to complete the 24-team lineup.

Twenty countries qualify, plus the hosts (Germany). That leaves three up for grabs through those playoffs — with paths created via the final positions of the 2022 UEFA Nations League.

And there’s more to play for this week. The pots for the finals draw on Saturday, Dec. 2 are based upon performances in the Euro 2024 qualifying programme, so every win will be crucial.

We take a look at what’s at stake in each group, how the playoffs are going to work and what the draw pots may look like.

This page will be updated throughout the final days of qualifying.

Who has qualified for the finals?

Fifteen teams have already secured safe passage to join Germany in the finals.

Qualified automatically: Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain, Scotland, Turkey, Austria, England, Hungary, Slovakia, Albania, Denmark, Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland

That leaves five automatic places still to be won across the final round.

There are three playoff paths through the UEFA Nations League — A, B and C.

Group A

Remaining fixtures
Sunday: Scotland vs. Norway, Spain vs. Georgia

The pretty much group is done and dusted, with Spain top by two points. As it stands they will be seeded in Pot 1 for the finals draw, and it would be a shock if they picked up anything less than maximum points against Georgia to secure it.

Scotland must beat Norway by two goals to move ahead of Austria as the best group runners-up (if Austria finish second), which earns a place in Pot 2.

The head to head between Spain and Scotland is level, so if the two teams have the same points top spot will be decided on goal difference. As Spain have a goal difference advantage of nine, they should only need a point vs. Georgia to win the group.


Georgia are guaranteed to take part in the UEFA Nations League C playoff path.

Cyprus and Norway have been eliminated.

Group B

Remaining fixtures
Tuesday: Gibraltar vs. Netherlands, Greece vs. France

France have already won the group with a 100% record and will be in Pot 1 for the finals draw.

Netherlands are also through and while they have an outside chance of being in Pot 1, they will almost certainly be in Pot 2.


Greece will be seeded in the UEFA Nations League C playoffs.

Gibraltar and Republic of Ireland have been eliminated.

Group C

Remaining fixtures
Monday: North Macedonia vs. England, Ukraine vs. Italy

England have qualified as group winners and need a point vs. North Macedonia to be sure of being in Pot 1 — though their superior goal difference really means it’s going to be confirmed.

Italy will qualify with a win or draw against Ukraine (the game is being played in Germany.) So that means Ukraine need to win to qualify automatically.


If Italy fail to finish in the top two, they are assured of a UEFA Nations League A playoff spot. Ukraine are very well placed for a playoff in UEFA Nations League B, but it’s not yet guaranteed.

North Macedonia and Malta have both been eliminated.

Group D

Remaining fixtures
Tuesday: Croatia vs. Armenia, Wales vs. Turkey

Turkey have qualified, though are not yet assured of first place — they need a win or a draw vs. Wales to secure it. If Turkey lose to Wales and Croatia beat Armenia, it will be Croatia who take top spot on head-to-head record.

With Wales drawing in Armenia on Saturday, Croatia are back in pole position after their win over Latvia. Croatia know they will avoid the playoffs if they beat Armenia.

Wales must beat Turkey and hope Croatia draw or lose. Wales hold the better head-to-head record if they finish level on points with Croatia.


Croatia would be guaranteed a UEFA Nations League A playoff, while Wales are almost certain of a playoff route.

Armenia and Latvia have been eliminated.

Group E

Remaining fixtures
Monday: Albania vs. Faroe Islands, Czechia vs. Moldova

Albania qualified with a draw against Moldova on Friday and they are almost certain to be in Pot 2 in the finals draw.

The CzechiaMoldova game is a straight battle for qualification. Moldova must win to reach the finals, while Czechia will make it with a draw or a win.

Czechia can still win the group if the beat Moldova and Albania lose to Faroe Islands.


Poland are guaranteed a playoff in UEFA Nations League A or B.

Moldova cannot get a playoff path and must qualify automatically.

Faroe Islands have been eliminated.

Group F

Remaining fixtures
Sunday: Belgium vs. Azerbaijan, Sweden vs. Estonia

Belgium and Austria have already qualified, so it’s just a case of who wins the group.

Austria have a two-point advantage at the top of the table, but they have played all their games. So Belgium require a win at home to Azerbaijan to take first place — which would also secure a place in Pot 1 for the finals draw.


Azerbaijan have a chance of a playoff in UEFA Nations League C.

Estonia, the top-ranked group winners from UEFA Nations League D, will get a place in the UEFA Nations League A path if fewer than four teams from that path require a playoff.

Sweden have been eliminated.

Group G

Remaining fixtures
Sunday: Hungary vs. Montenegro, Serbia vs. Bulgaria

Hungary crawled over the line on Thursday with a 97th-minute equaliser giving them a 2-2 draw away to rock-bottom Bulgaria and seal their place at Euro 2024.

Serbia will qualify with a win or draw at home to Bulgaria, or if Montenegro draw or lose in Hungary.

The head to head between Hungary and Serbia is equal so if they are level for first on 16 points (Hungary draw, Serbia win) it will be decided on goal difference and then goals scored. Hungary have a goal difference advantage of one goal, and if Hungary draw 1-1 and Serbia win 1-0 (or 2-2 and 2-0 etc) scoring records will also be identical. Then it comes down to away group goals, with Serbia having scored seven to Hungary’s six — so Serbia would win the group.

The only way Montenegro can finish second is if they win and Serbia lose to Bulgaria. If Serbia draw, Serbia would finish in second place ahead of Montenegro on head to head.


If Hungary drop out of the top two, they have a very strong chance of a UEFA Nations League A playoff — though it isn’t guaranteed.

Serbia are assured of the safety net of a place in the UEFA Nations League B playoff path.

Montenegro’s only route to the finals is by finishing in the top two.

Bulgaria and Lithuania have been eliminated.

Group H

Remaining fixtures
Monday: Northern Ireland vs. Denmark, San Marino vs. Finland, Slovenia vs. Kazakhstan

Denmark booked their place with a win over Slovenia on Friday and they are almost certain to be in Pot 2 in the finals draw.

Kazakhstan‘s win against San Marino on Friday means they will take automatic qualification down to the final game. Their match is away Slovenia, which is a direct battle for a place in the top two. Kazakhstan must win to qualify automatically, Slovenia will do so with a win or draw.


Kazakhstan are guaranteed a UEFA Nations League C playoff.

Denmark are assured of a UEFA Nations League A playoff if they need it, but Slovenia would likely miss out on the UEFA Nations League B path so must stay in the automatic places.

Finland will definitely take part in the playoffs, which may be in UEFA Nations League B.

Northern Ireland and San Marino have been eliminated.

Group I

Remaining fixtures
Tuesday: Andorra vs. Israel, Kosovo vs. Belarus, Romania vs. Switzerland

Romania and Switzerland have both qualified.

Romania need a point at home to Switzerland to secure top spot in the group and a place in Pot 2. Switzerland must win the game to take first place and get Pot 2.

If Romania-Switzerland is a draw, Romania will be in Pot 2 and Switzerland Pot 4.

If Romania win, they will be in Pot 2 and Switzerland Pot 4.

If Switzerland win, they will be in Pot 2 and Romania Pot 3 or 4.


Israel will be seeded in the UEFA Nations League B playoffs.

Andorra, Belarus and Kosovo have been eliminated.

Group J

Remaining fixtures
Sunday: Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Slovakia, Portugal vs. Iceland, Liechtenstein vs. Luxembourg

Portugal have qualified and are guaranteed to be in Pot 1 for the finals draw.

Slovakia have confirmed their place finishing second and will be in Pot 3 or Pot 4.


Luxembourg will be in the UEFA Nations League C playoffs.

Iceland have a chance of a place in the UEFA Nations League B playoff path.

Bosnia and Herzegovina will take part in the UEFA Nations League B path.

Liechtenstein have been eliminated.

Playoff system

How does it work?

There are three playoff paths to the finals, based upon the final ranking of the 2022 UEFA Nations League group stage in Leagues A, B and C.

The winners of the groups in UEFA Nations Leagues A, B and C are guaranteed a playoff, should they need it.

If a UEFA Nations League group winner qualifies for Euro 2024 automatically, the next best-ranked country in that UEFA Nations League gets a playoff.

Essentially, the four best-ranked countries in UEFA Nations Leagues A, B and C who do not qualify automatically get a playoff.

What if fewer than four teams need a playoff from one of the paths?

This is only possible for League A. If the path cannot be filled by countries from League A, the best-ranked country from League D, which is Estonia, will join the League A path. It is the only way Estonia can take part in the playoffs.

If the League path A still isn’t full, the next-best ranked team in League B will get a playoff.

Anything else?

There will be a path containing only UEFA Nations League B teams. However, if more five or more teams from League B qualify for a playoff (because of a space in League A) there will be a draw between League B non-group winners to decide which teams stay in that path, and who makes the step up to the League A playoff path.

If Italy and Croatia fail to qualify automatically they will both be in the League A path, which means one of them will miss out on Euro 2024.

Who has qualified for the playoffs?

At present, seven nations are certain to be in the playoffs.

Path A:

Path B: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel

Path A or B: Finland, Poland

Path C: Georgia, Greece, Luxembourg

What is the playoff format?

They are one-legged ties, a semifinal and a final, to be played in March 2024.

The two best-ranked teams will be at home in the semifinals, and we know for sure that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel (B) and Georgia, Greece (C) will have home ties, while Luxembourg (C) will be away. The best-ranked will play the fourth-ranked, and the second against the third.

A draw will take place on Dec. 2 to decide the winners of which semifinal will be at home in the final.

Finals draw pots

The draw for Euro 2024 will take place at 12 pm. ET / 5 p.m. UK on Saturday, Dec. 2.

There will be four pots of six teams.

Germany will be in Pot 1 as hosts, joined by the five group winners with the best record in qualifying

Pot 2 will have the other group winners, plus the runners-up with the best record.

Pots 3 and 4 will be filled with the other group runners up, in order of points.

The three playoff winners will be in Pot 4. As the playoffs are not played until March, they will appear in the draw as Playoff A, Playoff B and Playoff C.

Portugal and France are the only teams who so far know which pot they are in, guaranteed of being in Pot 1 alongside the hosts.

Pot 1: Germany, Portugal, France

Pot 2:

Pot 3:

Pot 4: Playoff A, Playoff B, Playoff C

Source link

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles