By News Team
Last Updated: 22nd November 2019
The draw for March’s Euro 2020 play-offs has been completed as the final teams, including Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, look to qualify for next summer’s tournament. We take a look at who will be playing who early next year.
Euro 2020 play-offs: How it works
The 16 teams that have secured a second chance of qualifying for Euro 2020 next summer following their performances in the group stage of qualification and the Nations League will be drawn into four separate play-off paths.
Path A – Iceland v Romania, Bulgaria v Hungary
Path B – Bosnia and Herzegovina v Northern Ireland, Slovakia v Republic of Ireland
Path C – Scotland v Israel, Norway v Serbia
Path D – Georgia v Belarus, North Macedonia v Kosovo
The highest-ranked team from each path, based on previous performances, host the fourth-ranked team, while the second-highest ranked team host the third-ranked team. The games are single-leg knockout fixtures where the winners of the semi-finals will go into the final, with the winners of the four separate finals going on to qualify for Euro 2020.
The play-off semi-finals will take place on March 26, 2020 with the play-off finals taking place on March 31, 2020.
Path A will see Romania travel to Iceland with Bulgaria hosting Hungary. The winner of Bulgaria and Hungary will go on to play the final at home.
Norway came close to automatic promotion in Group F in qualifying, only losing one game. They will provide a tough task for Hungary, who finished fourth in Group E. Bulgaria, meanwhile, had a torrid time in group A, only managing one win from eight games, and will look to regain momentum against Romania, who had a respectable finish in Group F, finishing closely behind Norway.
Both Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have progressed into the play-offs but only one of them, if any, will be able to qualify for Euro 2020. If both win their semi-final games, then the two Irish nations will meet each other in the Path B final, with Northern Ireland hosting that final thanks to the luck of the draw.
Highest-ranked Bosnia and Herzegovina will be hosting Northern Ireland in the semi-finals while Slovakia play at home to Republic of Ireland. An all-Irish final, should it come to fruition, could be a highlight of the play-offs.
One of Euro 2020’s hosts, Scotland, have been drawn against Israel. This is a favourable tie for the Tartan Army and playing at Hampden Park gives Steve Clarke’s side a good chance of reaching the final, which they would play away. Serbia travel to Norway for the other game in Path C with two tough teams going head-to-head.
Scotland will be looking to their in-form man John McGinn, with the Aston Villa player having netted seven goals in six games for his national side while also recording two assists. With a passing accuracy of 80% in the group stages, he has played a key part in Scotland’s recent good form which has seen them win three on the bounce.
Path D will see the lowest ranking teams go head-to-head to earn their spot in Euro 2020 next summer. Highest-ranked Georgia will be hosting Belarus, while North Macedonia will play at home to Kosovo.
All four teams in Path D have never qualified for the European Championship so history will be made during the play-offs. North Macedonia’s opponents, Kosovo, were only accepted into FIFA during their 2016 Congress in Mexico. This could be the most exciting path of the play-offs.