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


The last two rounds of qualifiers on the road to Euro 2024 will see the final 12 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?

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

Qualified automatically: Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain, Scotland, Turkey, Austria, England, Hungary

That leaves 11 automatic places still to be won across the final week.

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

Group A

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

The group is done and dusted, with Spain top of the group 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 are level on 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.

Playoffs:

Norway are left to hope they can sneak a place in the UEFA Nations League B playoff path, but going into the final games they would just miss out.

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

Cyprus have been eliminated.

Group B

Remaining fixtures
Nov. 18:
France vs. Gibraltar, Netherlands vs. Republic of Ireland
Nov. 21: Gibraltar vs. Netherlands, Greece vs. France

France have already won the group with a 100% record and are all but assured of being in Pot 1 for the finals draw.

Netherlands and Greece are in contention for the other automatic spot. The two teams are level on points — but the Dutch hold second place on head-to-head record, while Greece only have one match left.

Therefore, Netherlands will qualify for the finals with a win at home to Republic of Ireland.

Greece must win their last match, which is at home to France, and hope Netherlands win neither of their last two matches — which is very unlikely considering the Dutch have to play minnows Gibraltar.

Playoffs:

Either Netherlands or Greece would be assured of a playoff route if they miss out on second place — Netherlands in UEFA Nations League A; Greece in UEFA Nations League C.

Republic of Ireland have slim hopes of a playoff, which will depend upon how many higher-ranked teams from UEFA Nations League B qualify automatically.

Gibraltar have been eliminated.

Group C

Remaining fixtures
Nov. 17:
England vs. Malta, Italy vs. North Macedonia
Nov. 20: North Macedonia vs. England, Ukraine vs. Italy

England have qualified as group winners and should be in Pot 1 for the draw if they win one of their final two matches — the first of which is at home to bottom-of-the-table Malta.

Ukraine hold second place, but Italy have a slight advantage.

If Italy win at home to North Macedonia, they will only need a point against Ukraine (the game is being played in Germany) to finish second on head to head. If Italy draw/lose to North Macedonia, then Italy must beat Ukraine to qualify automatically.

So Ukraine must wait to discover what they must do. If Italy beat North Macedonia, then Ukraine will have to win against Italy for second place. If Italy draw/lose then Ukraine will reach the finals with a draw/win vs. Italy.

Playoffs:

If Italy fail to finish in the top two, they are sure 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
Nov. 18:
Armenia vs. Wales, Latvia vs. Croatia
Nov. 21: Croatia vs. Armenia, Wales vs. Turkey

Turkey have qualified, though are not yet assured of first place. If they win their final game away to Wales they would have a chance of sneaking into Pot 1 for the finals draw, but they are likely to be in Pot 2.

The battle for the second automatic place is in the command of Wales, as they hold the better head-to-head record over Croatia with the two teams level on points. Wales will qualify on Nov. 18 with a win if Croatia lose to Latvia. Wales also will qualify if they win both their games, or if they match or better the points total of Croatia over the two fixtures.

Croatia, the 2022 World Cup semifinalists, don’t have their fate in their own hands but they do have favourable fixtures. They must accrue more points than Wales to take second.

Armenia sit in fourth place and have a mathematical chance, especially as they have both Wales and Croatia to play. They know that if they win both games they will definitely finish ahead of Wales — but they could still miss out on second to Croatia on goal difference. But they will be out of contention if they lose to Wales, or with a draw if Croatia win.

Playoffs:

Croatia would be guaranteed a UEFA Nations League A playoff, while Wales would have to wait on the final placings of other groups. Armenia cannot qualify for a playoff path.

Latvia have been eliminated.

Group E

Remaining fixtures
Nov. 17:
Moldova vs. Albania, Poland vs. Czechia
Nov. 20: Albania vs. Faroe Islands, Czechia vs. Moldova

This group is tight with four teams separated by four points.

Albania top the group with two games to play, and it’s a position of strength as they still have to play the bottom nation, Faroe Islands, at home in the final fixture. A win or draw in Moldova in the first match will secure their place, or if Poland beat Czechia. If Albania lose on Nov. 17 then a win over the Faroes would still secure safe passage.

Czechia also have two matches left and are one point ahead of Poland, who have one game to play. The two nations meet in Warsaw, with Poland knowing they must win to have any chance of qualifying automatically. That would put Poland second going into the last round, but without a game left; the result of Moldova vs. Albania will decide exactly what they would need.

Czechia, meanwhile, can qualify if they win in Poland and Moldova draw or lose against Albania. If Czechia draw vs. Poland, then the Czechia-Moldova game essentially becomes a straight battle for qualification — with the result of Moldova vs. Albania deciding the exact permutations.

Moldova will almost certainly have to win both matches, which would guarantee a top-two place.

Playoffs:

Poland and Czechia would need results to go their way to get a UEFA Nations League A playoff.

Albania and Moldova cannot get a playoff path and must qualify automatically.

Faroe Islands cannot finish in the top two and have slim hope of a UEFA Nations League C playoff.

Group F

Remaining fixtures
Saturday: 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.

Playoffs:

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
Saturday: 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 to seal their place at Euro 2024.

Serbia don’t play in the first round of games, but will qualify if Montenegro draw or lose against Lithuania later on Thursday.

The head to head between Hungary and Serbia is level so if they are level for first it will be decided on goal difference and then goals scored. Hungary have a goal difference advantage of one goal, and if Serbia win 1-0 and Hungary draw 1-1 (or 2-0 and 2-2 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.

Montenegro must win both matches, the second of which is in Hungary, with Serbia losing to Bulgaria.

Playoffs:

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.

Lithuania have been eliminated.

Bulgaria have an outside chance of a UEFA Nations League C playoff.

Group H

Remaining fixtures
Nov. 17:
Kazakhstan vs. San Marino, Finland vs. Northern Ireland, Denmark vs. Slovenia
Nov. 20: Northern Ireland vs. Denmark, San Marino vs. Finland, Slovenia vs. Kazakhstan

Slovenia and Denmark are in control of Group H, holding a four-point cushion with two games remaining; at least one of them is guaranteed to qualify automatically. However, the teams meet in Copenhagen in the first round of games, which gives Kazakhstan hope of a run for the two top.

If there is a winner in Denmark-Slovenia, that nation will qualify.

If Denmark-Slovenia is a draw, both countries will qualify in the unlikely event that Kazakhstan fail to beat San Marino.

If Kazakhstan lose to San Marino, both Denmark and Slovenia have qualified.

If Kazakhstan win against San Marino, they know they will take automatic qualification down to the final game. That’s in Slovenia, which may turn out to be a direct battle for a place in the top two.

If Kazakhstan draw against San Marino, they will only remain in contention for the top two if Slovenia lose to Denmark.

Playoffs:

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
Nov. 18: Belarus vs. Andorra, Israel vs. Romania, Switzerland vs. Kosovo
Nov. 21: Andorra vs. Israel, Kosovo vs. Belarus, Romania vs. Switzerland

Switzerland and Romania top the group on 16 points and are hot favourites to qualify automatically.

Switzerland will qualify with a win at home to Kosovo on Saturday, or with a draw if Israel draw/lose against Romania.

Romania will be through if they win or draw against Israel.

Israel must beat Romania to stay in contention.

Kosovo‘s only hope of qualifying automatically is if they win both their remaining games, Switzerland lose to Romania on the final day and Israel do not win both matches.

Playoffs:

Romania have no playoff route so must qualify automatically.

Switzerland could get a place in the UEFA Nations League A playoffs but most likely have to qualify automatically.

Israel are guaranteed a place in the UEFA Nations League B playoffs.

Kosovo only have the outside chance of a UEFA Nations League C playoff.

Belarus and Andorra have been eliminated.

Group J

Remaining fixtures
Nov. 16: Luxembourg vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia vs. Iceland, Liechtenstein vs. Portugal
Nov. 19: 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 are almost there too, and will book their place with a win/draw at home to Iceland.

Luxembourg must win their two games and hope Slovakia lose both.

Likewise, Iceland must win their two fixtures, hope Slovakia do not pick up any points and Luxembourg draw/lose at least one of their games. If Slovakia and Iceland finish level on 16 points for second place, it will come down to direct head-to-head goal difference — which Iceland would claim if they beat Slovakia by 2+ goals.

Playoffs:

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

Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot finish in the top two, but will definitely take part in UEFA Nations League B.

Luxembourg will be in the UEFA Nations League C playoffs if they miss out automatically.

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, only three nations are certain to be in the playoffs.

Bosnia and Herzegovina will be in the League B path.

Finland may be in the League B path but could be drawn into League A.

Georgia will be in the League C path.

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 (B) and Georgia (C) will have home ties.

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.

Going into the final week, Portugal are the only team who know which pot they are in, guaranteed of a place in Pot 1 alongside Germany.

Pot 1: Germany, Portugal

Pot 2:

Pot 3:

Pot 4: Playoff A, Playoff B, Playoff C



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