England To Be Seeded in Euro 2012 Qualifying Draw
England will be among the first group of seeds for the Qualifying draw for the 2012 European Championship to be co-hosted in Poland and Ukraine.
UEFA introduced a new coefficients system last year which takes into account matches played in the last World Cup and European Championships including the qualifiers.
Also placed in Pot One for the draw are reigning champions Spain and three-time winners Germany.
Croatia are also amongst the top nine, meaning that England cannot be drawn against Slaven Bilic’s side for the third consecutive qualifying campaign.
This will be the 14th European Championships, and the last one to have 16 teams in the final tournament after UEFA voted last year to expand it to 24 for the 2016 competition.
Poland and Ukraine will co-host the tournament, making it the third out of the last four to be co-hosted.
The qualifying draw will be held on 7 February 2010 in Warsaw.
The 51 teams will be drawn into nine groups. There will be six groups of six teams with the remaining three groups consisting of five teams.
Due to Poland and Ukraine co-hosting the final tournament, there are only 14 places up for grabs in qualification.
The nine group winners will qualify automatically, along with the best runner-up
The remaining eight runner-ups will then face a two-legged play-off for the final four places.
The qualification period will run from September 2010 until November 2011 with the first qualifying matches being played on 4 September 2010.
England will be keen to avoid Sweden from Pot Two, having not beaten since them since 1968, the winless streak currently standing at 12 matches—the worst run against any opponent in England’s history.
There is a one-in-three chance of England playing a local rival with the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland all in Pot Three.
Slovenia look the most dangerous team by far in Pot Four having just qualified for their second World Cup by beating Russia on away goals in a playoff.
Ranking Pots for the Euro 2012 Qualifying Draw
Pot One: Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Croatia, Portugal, France, Russia
Pot Two: Greece, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey, Denmark, Slovakia, Romania
Pot Three: Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Pot Four: Slovenia, Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania, Belarus, Belgium, Wales, Macedonia, Cyprus
Pot Five: Montenegro, Albania, Estonia, Georgia, Moldova, Iceland, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein
Pot Six: Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Malta, Faroe Islands, Andorra, San Marino
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