Turkey drawn with Italy, Switzerland, Wales at Euro 2020

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published 30.11.2019 20:52
Updated 01.12.2019 19:32
Turkey is drawn out by Philipp Lahm. (Reuters Photo)
Turkey is drawn out by Philipp Lahm. (Reuters Photo)

Turkey will face Italy, Switzerland, and Wales in Group A in Euro 2020.

The tournament will open with Italy hosting Turkey in Rome on June 12. Group A also features Switzerland and Wales, which has to play its first two games in the Azerbaijan capital Baku before the team led by Gareth Bale finishes in Rome against the hosts.

Turkey finished second in its qualifying group with 23 points, losing only once and scoring 18 goals across 10 games, making it Turkey's best-ever performance in any Euro qualification round.

Meanwhile, Joachim Loew's Germany was seeded first in Saturday's Bucharest draw but was given the hardest task possible from the second pot against world champion France, and Portugal from pot three. A playoff winner will complete the group.

Roberto Mancini's Italy will open the tournament with a Group A match against Turkey in Rome on June 12 before also facing Switzerland and Wales.

England meets the Czech Republic and, in a rematch of the 2018 World Cup semifinal, Croatia in a Group D while Spain meets Poland and Sweden, in a tight Group E.

Finland, the only confirmed debutants, joins Belgium, Russia, and Denmark in Group B. Ukraine and the Netherlands are joined by Austria in Group C.

The Bucharest symphony orchestra and circus performers 7 Fingers provided entertainment at the Romexpo conference center in the Romanian capital, but could not come close to matching the drama of the draw.

When Sweden was pulled from the hat into Group E - leaving Portugal for Group F - there was an audible gasp in the hall. Germany can at least console themselves at playing all three matches in Munich.

Only the top two from each group are certain to progress but Group F would likely produce one of the four best third-placed teams. Should Hungary, Bulgaria or Iceland come through playoff path A they will join the three heavyweights.

Should Romania prevail it will instead join Group C, which it will host along with the Netherlands, leaving one of Georgia, North Macedonia, Belarus or Kosovo in Group F.

The first of the 51-game tournament is in Rome where Italy, on a historic winning run under Mancini, will expect to set a marker against Turkey.

Rome is paired with Baku for hosting but Italy will be spared traveling unlike Turkey and Wales, who face long journeys.

The allocation of host nations frustrated Belgium, who despite boasting the best record in qualifying now has effectively away games against Russia and Denmark in Group B.

Finland will surely hope to maintain respectability in its first major tournament appearance.

Spain will play all its Group E games in Bilbao and have a rematch with Sweden, who it had in qualifying. Robert Lewandowski's Poland, and potentially hosts Ireland through the playoffs, complete an evenly matched pool.

England has the target of the semifinals and finals at home and will be eager to impress in front of its home fans at Wembley. It got the better of Croatia in the Nations League after losing to it in the World Cup but did win one and lose one against the Czechs in qualifying.

And a potential match with old rivals Scotland, if it survives the playoffs, completes the group.

The Euro 2020 finals will be held in 12 different countries across Europe from June 12 to July 12 for the first time in the tournament's history.

Twelve host cities are divided into six groups for the tournament and each group will consist of four teams.

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