Euro 2020 draw: When it’s on, who Ireland could play, TV channels and more
McCarthy’s side will find out their opponents for next summer if they get through play-offs
The draw for Euro 2020 will be made in Bucharest. Photograph: Dan Istitene/Getty
The Republic of Ireland might not have booked their place at next summer’s European Championships just yet, but all eyes will be on Saturday’s Euro 2020 draw nontheless.
Last week’s draw with Denmark means Mick McCarthy’s side face a play-off semi-final away to Slovakia on March 26th next year, followed by a potential final away to Northern Ireland or Bosnia on March 31st.
Negotiate their way through those two fixtures, and Ireland will be back at a major tournament - and come Saturday evening, they will know who their opponents will be next summer.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of the draw.
When is the draw for the Euro 2020 finals?
The draw for next summer’s tournament will take place on Saturday, November 30th in Bucharest at 5pm Irish time.
How can I follow it?
The draw is being broadcast live on RTÉ 2 (4.45pm) and on BBC 2 (5pm). Alternatively, you can follow the draw via the Irish Times liveblog, which will be up and running from around 4.45pm.
What pot will Ireland be in?
Well here’s where the variables begin. Previously, seeding for Uefa tournaments was based on the form of teams over a three-year cycle but, for Euro 2020, that was changed to a system which will now seed the teams based purely on their qualifying records.
Pot one will consist of the six best performing group winners.
Pot two will be made up of the group winners ranked seventh to 10th as well as the top two best performing group runners-up.
Pot three will consist of the next six ranked runners-up.
Pot four will be made up of the bottom two ranked runners-up and the four teams which will come through the Nations League playoffs next March.
That means that, should Ireland get through those playoffs, they will be in pot four.
Winner play-off Path A
Winner play-off Path B (potentially Ireland or Northern Ireland)
Winner play-off Path C
Winner play-off Path D
Do we know what group Ireland will be in?
This is one thing we do know for certain. When the 12 host cities were confirmed they were divided up into six pairs with each pair assigned to a group. Dublin was paired with Bilbao and assigned to Group E meaning that Ireland will definitely be drawn with Spain.
Do we at least get to play Spain at home?
Nope. Because Spain qualified automatically while Ireland have to go through the playoffs, the Spanish will get the luxury of three matches at home while Ireland will have to take them on in their own back yard.
Okay, so we’re guaranteed two games in Dublin. Do we know what dates they will be and which date we might play in Bilbao?
So far only the venues and dates have been confirmed by Uefa with specific fixtures not confirmed until after the draw. However, we do know that the three group matches in Dublin (two of which will involve Ireland) will take place on June 15th, June 19th and June 24th. The other three games in the group - to take place at the San Mames in Bilbao - will be on June 15th, June 20th and June 24th.
Okay, so no booking flights to Bilbao just yet. Is there any way you can still get tickets?
The first ballot for Euro 2020 tickets took place back in August with 19.3 million fans applying for 1.5 million tickets.
Tickets for the 20 qualified teams will go on sale to supporters of those teams via the second ballot which opens on December after the draw is made and we know which teams are playing where. However, Ireland fans will be unable to apply for these tickets as they are only for the teams already qualified. Tickets for the winners of the four playoffs will go on sale shortly after the playoff finals on March 31st. However, be warned that if Ireland do qualify and you look for tickets in that second ballot the FAI have said that supporters must meet the criteria set out which generally means season ticket holders will be first in line.
So, there are some things that are clear and plenty still to be decided. If the good times really roll and Ireland manage to reach the last 16 next summer could we play that knockout match in Dublin?
Unfortunately that’s one of the elements already decided and the answer is no. The last 16 match in Dublin will be between the winners of Group D and the runners-up in Group F. Interestingly, England are assigned to Group D and Germany to Group F meaning we could have a meeting of the two old enemies in Dublin on June 30th next year...
I’ve got tickets for a group match in Dublin - who will I be watching if Ireland don’t qualify?
With the play-offs not being held until March, the winner of play-off Path B will be included in Group E. This means if Ireland don’t reach the Euros, it will be one of Slovakia, Bosnia or Northern Ireland who will be playing two of their group fixtures at the Aviva Stadium.
What’s the dream draw (providing Ireland make it)?
Republic of Ireland
What’s the worst that could happen?
Republic of Ireland. . . gulp