Euro 2020: Potential Opponents for Croatia Revealed

Daniela Rogulj

November 20, 2019 – Who can Croatia potentially face at the Euros next summer? A closer look.

After Tuesday’s games, we know the 20 national teams that directly qualified for the European Championships next year. 

Four more national teams will be hoping for a spot at the Euros through additional qualifications based on their placement in the Nations League.

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Switzerland, Denmark and Wales will play at the tournament next summer, which opens on June 12 in Rome and ends on July 12 at Wembley in London. 

What awaits Croatia? breaks it down.

Croatia won their qualifying group but failed to be among the top six national teams in the qualifications and will be placed in the second group of the draw, or the second strongest rankings.

For the first time in history, the draw will not use national team rankings by UEFA, but by rankings from these qualifications. 

Pot 1: Italy, Belgium, England, Germany, Ukraine, and Spain

Pot 2: France, Poland, Switzerland, Croatia, the Netherlands, and Russia

Pot 3: Portugal, Turkey, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic

Pot 4: Finland, Wales, Playoff A, Playoff B, Playoff C, Playoff D

The teams will be divided into four groups with six teams each. There will be six top-ranked national teams in the first. The second will have the remaining four top-ranked teams (including Croatia) and the two best second-placed national teams. The third group will have the remaining second-best teams and the last will have the two worst runner-up teams and four additional qualification winners. Additional qualifications are completed by the Nations League ranking (A, B, C, and D).

As Germany defeated Northern Ireland in the last round, they secured a position in the first pot and pushed the Netherlands into the second, which also includes Croatia. This means that Croatia will not be able to play against the Netherlands or any other national team from this group. 

Why can’t Croatia play against Belgium and Ukraine?

Croatia knew before the draw that it would certainly not play in Group C, as the host of the group is the Netherlands, who is in their group. The Netherlands will thus balance forces with Ukraine, while the other host of Group C, Romania, must successfully complete additional qualifications to compete in that group.

Croatia also cannot play against Belgium. Why?

Russia is the second seed, like Croatia, and is guaranteed to host a game in St. Petersburg. Denmark, the third seed, is also hosting a game in Copenhagen. Given that Russia cannot be in the same group as Ukraine, the only remaining first seed in that group is Belgium.

Thus, Croatia’s possible strongest rivals are Italy, England, Spain and Germany.

Potential groups

Group A: Italy, France / Poland / Switzerland / Croatia, Portugal / Turkey / Austria / Sweden / Czech Republic, Wales or Finland

Group B: Belgium, Denmark, Russia, Wales or Finland

Group C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Portugal / Turkey / Austria / Sweden / Czech Republic, winner of Group A, C or D in additional qualifications

Group D: England, France / Poland / Switzerland / Croatia, Portugal / Turkey / Austria / Sweden / Czech Republic, Group C or D Winner in additional qualifications

Group E: Spain, France / Poland / Switzerland / Croatia, Portugal / Turkey / Austria / Sweden / Czech Republic, Group B Winner in additional qualifications

Group F: Germany, France / Poland / Switzerland / Croatia, Portugal / Turkey / Austria / Sweden / Czech Republic, winner of Group A, C or D in additional qualifications

For the first time in history, additional qualifications are completed according to results from the Nationals League. The Euro draw will take place on November 30 in Bucharest, but additional qualifications will only be played from March 26 to 31 next year.

There will be four separate mini-tournaments played in the Final Four format. A draw will determine the host of the finals of each mini-tournament, but it will certainly be one of the teams participating in that tournament.

For now, it is known that in League B, Bosnia and Herzegovina will host Northern Ireland and Slovakia will host Ireland in one game. The winners will compete for one spot from that division.

In League D, Georgia – Belarus and Northern Macedonia – Kosovo will play, and in League C Norway and Serbia and Scotland against either Bulgaria – Israel – Hungary – Romania.

The other three will go to the League A play-offs, with only Iceland not directly qualifying for the Euro. The League A and League C playoff draw will be held this Friday at Nyon at noon.

League A

Iceland – Bulgaria / Israel / Hungary / Romania, the second pair between these teams

League B

BiH – Northern Ireland, Slovakia – Ireland

League C

Scotland – Bulgaria / Israel / Hungary / Romania, Norway – Serbia

League D

Georgia – Belarus, North Macedonia – Kosovo

Twenty-four national teams will play in the European Championships and matches will be played in 12 countries. National teams will be divided into six groups of four teams, and the two best national teams from each group and four best third places will move forward. This decision was made seven years ago to mark the 60th anniversary of the first European Championship. 

The first game will be played in Group A, in Rome, Italy starting at 9 pm. 

You can see a breakdown of the cities and stadiums hosting the competition below:


Rome (Italy) – Olimpico (72.698)

Baku (Azerbaijan) – Baku Olympic Stadium (68.700)


Saint Peterburg (Russia) – Gazprom Arena (68.134)

Copenhagen (Denmark) – Parken (38.065)


Amsterdam (Netherlands) – Johan Cruyff Arena (54.990)

Bucharest (Romania) – Arena National (55.600)


London (England) – Wembley (90.000)

Glasgow (Sweden) – Hampden Park (52.063)


Bilbao (Spain) – San Mames (53.332)

Dublin (Republic of Ireland) – Aviva (51.700)


Munich (Germany) – Allianz Arena (75.000)

Budapest (Hungary) – Puskas Arena (67.889)


Bucharest, Copenhagen, Bilbao, London, Glasgow, Dublin, Budapest, Amsterdam


Saint Petersburg, Munich, Rome, Baku





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