All important EURO 2016 draw looms for contenders

The draw for UEFA EURO 2016 finals takes place in Paris on Sunday morning (4am AEDT) with 24 teams to learn their fate ahead of the finals in France next year - as a host of championship hopefuls look to avoid the dreaded 'Groupe de la Mort'.

Official UEFA EUEO 2016 ball 'Beau Jeu' (Beautiful Game)

The official UEFA EURO 2016 ball, dubbed 'Beau Jeu' (Beautiful Game) is displayed during a media event in Saint-Denis last month

When and where is the tournament?

EURO 2016 is scheduled to take place across 10 stadium between Friday 10 June and Sunday 10 July (local time). With the expansion of the tournament to 24 teams, next year's finals will include a round of 16 after the group stage for the first time with the final at the Stade de France - which held the 1998 World Cup final.

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Who are the qualified teams?

EURO 2016


Team-by-team guide of all 24 teams

Albania
Coach: Gianni De Biasi
Star player: Lorik Cana
Chances: Having come through a qualifying group including Portugal, Denmark and Serbia, Albania have proved they can play a bit but they will still be rank outsiders.
Tournament best: first time qualifiers
Qualifying record: W4 D2 L2
Qualifying stat: Albania finished second in Group I, two points ahead of Denmark, but it might have been different had they not been awarded a 3-0 win against Serbia from an abandoned match in Belgrade.

Austria
Coach: Marcel Koller
Star player: David Alaba
Chances: Not likely winners but, as a team on the up, they will be difficult opposition for any side.
Tournament best: Group stage 2008
Qualifying record: W9 D1 L0
Qualifying stat: This is the first time Austria, Group G winners, have qualified for the finals on the field after being included as co-hosts in 2008.

Belgium
Coach: Marc Wilmots
Star player: Eden Hazard
Chances: With a star-studded squad, Belgium - ranked No.1 in the world - are capable of winning the tournament but much depends on how they gel as a team and are coached.
Tournament best: Finalists 1980
Qualifying record: W7 D2 L1
Qualifying stat: After winning Group B, Belgium - 66th in 2009 - moved to the top of FIFA's world rankings for the first time in their history.

Croatia
Coach: Ante Cacic
Star player: Ivan Perisic
Chances: With some talented and established players, Croatia will expect to make the last 16 and hope to go further.
Tournament best: Quarter-finalists 1996 & 2008
Qualifying record: W6 D3 L1
Qualifying stat: Croatia had an eventful qualifying campaign, having a point deducted after a swastika was burned onto their pitch and changing managers in September, but they leapfrogged Norway in the last round of fixtures to go through.

Czech Republic
Coach: Pavel Vrba
Star player: Petr Cech
Chances: The Czechs appear short of the star quality of the past and may not get beyond the last 16.
Tournament best: Finalists 1996
Qualifying record: W7 D1 L2
Qualifying stat: The Czechs have qualified for the finals of every Euros since the break-up of Czechoslovakia, a run starting with the 1996 tournament.

England
Coach: Roy Hodgson
Star player: Wayne Rooney
Chances: Past failures may still temper optimism, but the quarter-finals should be a minimum aim.
Tournament best: Semi-finalists 1968 (3rd place play-off winners), 1996
Qualifying record: W10 D0 L0
Qualifying stat: The last team to qualify for the finals with a 100 per cent record - Spain four years ago - went on to win the tournament while Germany reached the semi-finals in 2008 after also going through with perfect statistics.

France (hosts)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Star player: Paul Pogba
Chances: With home advantage and players such as Pogba and Hugo Lloris in their ranks, the French will be among the favourites.
Tournament best: Winners 1984, 2000
Qualifying record: Automatically qualified as hosts
Qualifying stat: Despite not needing to qualify, France were actually allocated a notional place in the five-team qualifying Group I, playing friendlies against the team without a fixture in each round.

Germany
Coach: Joachim Low
Star player: Thomas Muller
Chances: Despite stuttering over the line with less-than-convincing performances in their final two qualifiers, the world champions are likely to begin the tournament as favourites.
Tournament best: Winners 1972, 1980, 1996
Qualifying record: W7 D1 L2
Qualifying stat: Germany had the most attempts on goal of any team during the group stage of qualifying with 232, ahead of Belgium (207) and England (195).

Hungary
Coach: Bernd Storck
Star player: Balazs Dzsudzsak
Chances: A fairly solid unit - they kept clean sheets in half of their qualifiers and the first leg of their play-off - Hungary could frustrate other teams but appear to lack the firepower to progress past the group stage.
Tournament best: Semi-finalists 1964, 1972.
Qualifying record: W4 D4 L2. Beat Norway in a play-off 3-1 on aggregate.
Qualifying stat: Hungary had three different managers throughout their qualifying campaign, with Storck ensuring they progressed to France after Attila Pinter and Pal Dardai also had spells at the helm.

Iceland
Coach: Lars Lagerback
Star player: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Chances: Iceland have suddenly emerged as a dangerous side under Lagerback and they will hope to reach the last 16.
Tournament best: first time qualifiers
Qualifying record: W6 D2 L2
Qualifying stat: Lagerback is a dab hand at qualifying for Euros, having led his native Sweden to the finals three times and now repeating the trick with an Iceland team up against established opposition such as Holland, the Czech Republic and Turkey.

Italy
Coach: Antonio Conte
Star player: Gianluigi Buffon
Chances: The Italians may have qualified comfortably but lack the star quality of the past and can only be regarded as having an outside chance of glory.
Tournament best: Winners 1968
Qualifying record: W7 D3 L0
Qualifying stat: Italy were short of goals in qualifying with Southampton's Graziano Pelle their top scorer with three.

Northern Ireland
Coach: Michael O'Neill
Star player: Kyle Lafferty
Chances: The Northern Irish are a well-coached and strong unit greater than the sum of their parts, but getting beyond the group stage would be a remarkable achievement.
Tournament best: first time qualifiers
Qualifying record: W6 D3 L1
Qualifying stat: O'Neill's men proved the surprise package of their qualifying group, topping it having begun as 20/1 outsiders.

Poland
Coach: Adam Nawalka
Star player: Robert Lewandowski
Chances: With Lewandowski fit and firing anything might be possible, but the quarter-finals might be a realistic aim.
Tournament best: Group stages 2008, 2012
Qualifying record: W6 D3 L1
Qualifying stat: Lewandowski's 13 goals equalled the record set by Northern Ireland's David Healy for the most goals scored in a European Championship qualifying campaign.

Portugal
Coach: Fernando Santos
Star player: Cristiano Ronaldo
Chances: Like Lewandowski for Poland, Ronaldo can inspire this team to great things and they could certainly go deep into the tournament.
Tournament best: Finalists 2004
Qualifying record: W7 D0 L1
Qualifying stat: Portugal's campaign got off to a poor start under new boss Santos as they lost to Albania, but seven straight wins put that right.

Republic of Ireland
Coach: Martin O'Neill
Star player: James McCarthy
Chances: They may lack a stand-out name like many nations but a recent win over Germany suggests they should not be taken lightly.
Tournament best: Group stages 1988 & 2012.
Qualifying record: W5 D3 L2. Beat Bosnia-Herzegovina in a play-off 3-1 on aggregate.
Qualifying stat: Captain Robbie Keane was the Republic's top scorer in Group D, although all of his five goals came against whipping boys Gibraltar.

Romania
Coach: Anghel Iordanescu
Star player: Razvan Rat
Chances: Despite being solid, Romania are not a team built to excite and they may not get out of their group.
Tournament best: Quarter-finalists 2000
Qualifying record: W5 D5 L0
Qualifying stat: Romania had the best defensive record in qualifying, conceding just twice.

Russia
Coach: Leonid Slutsky
Star player: Artem Dzyuba
Chances: Showed their quality with a strong finish in qualifying and should at least threaten the quarter-finals.
Tournament best: Semi-finalists 2008
Qualifying record: W6 D2 L2
Qualifying stat: Slutsky, who is also the CSKA Moscow coach and took over the national side during qualifying, had his playing career as a goalkeeper ended when he fell out of a tree trying to rescue a cat.

Slovakia
Coach: Jan Kozak
Star player: Marek Hamsik
Chances: First appearance at the finals and anything beyond the group stage would be highly satisfactory.
Tournament best: first time qualifiers
Qualifying record: W7 D1 L2
Qualifying stat: Slovakia's Vladimir Weiss tied with Poland's Arkadiusz Milik and Senad Lulic of Bosnia for the highest number of assists in the qualifying group stage on six.

Spain
Coach: Vicente del Bosque
Star player: David Silva
Chances: The squad may not be quite of the strength of those that won everything from 2008 to 2012, but they are still capable of claiming a third successive Euro title.
Tournament best: Winners 1964, 2008, 2012
Qualifying record: W9 D0 L1
Qualifying stat: Spain's loss to Slovakia in October 2014 is their only defeat in qualifying for any major tournament in the past nine years.

Sweden
Coach: Erik Hamren
Star player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Chances: While they have Ibrahimovic, they have a chance. Their hopes rest on his shoulders, just as he likes it.
Tournament best: Semi-finalists 1992.
Qualifying record: W5 D3 L2. Beat Denmark in a play-off 4-3 on aggregate.
Qualifying stat: Including the play-offs, Sweden scored 19 goals in total in their qualification campaign and Ibrahimovic helped himself to 11 of them.

Switzerland
Coach: Vladimir Petkovic
Star player: Xherdan Shaqiri
Chances: A potent but fallible side and the last eight might be the summit of their ambitions.
Tournament best: Group stages 1996, 2004, 2008
Qualifying record: W7 D0 L3
Qualifying stat: Petkovic, who took charge at the start of the campaign and saw the Swiss through despite defeats in the first two games, speaks Italian, French, English, Spanish, German and Russian.

Turkey
Coach: Fatih Terim
Star player: Selcuk Inan
Chances: Emerged from a tough group but will be among the outsiders at the tournament.
Tournament best: Semi-finalists 2008
Qualifying record: W5 D3 L2
Qualifying stat: Turkey not only saw off Holland to finish third in qualifying Group A, but their last-gasp win against Iceland ensured they also pipped Hungary to reach the finals automatically as the best third-placed team.

Ukraine
Coach: Mykhaylo Fomenko
Star player: Andriy Yarmolenko
Chances: Unfortunate not to progress in the group stage and blessed with two of the continent's finest talents in Yarmolenko and Sevilla's Yevhen Konoplyanka, they will have last-16 aspirations.
Tournament best: Group stages 2012.
Qualifying record: W6 D1 L3. Beat Slovenia in a play-off 3-1 on aggregate.
Qualifying stat: Ukraine finally ended their play-off hoodoo by beating Slovenia over two legs having failed to progress via that route in their previous five play-off ties for major international tournaments.

Wales
Coach: Chris Coleman
Star player: Gareth Bale
Chances: Bale might be able to make the difference against a number of teams, but without him Wales would not be half the side and they may not get out of their group.
Tournament best: first time qualifiers
Qualifying record: W6 D3 L1
Qualifying stat: Bale had more shots off target (21) than any other player in the qualifying groups and, in terms of overall attempts (24), was second only to Lewandowski (25).


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10 min read
Published 11 December 2015 at 11:28pm
Source: PA Sport