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England to face Czech Republic test as their qualifying path to Euro 2020 is plotted

England’s path to Euro 2020 has been plotted after they were paired with the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Kosovo in qualifying Group A.

Gareth Southgate’s team will play two fixtures in each of March, September, October and November next year as they bid to reach the Europe-wide finals tournament in the summer of 2020.

Their campaign begins with a home fixture against the Czechs at Wembley Stadium on Friday March 22 before a trip to Montenegro on Monday March 25.

England Euro 2020 qualifiers

England v Czech Republic – 7.45pm, Friday 22 March 2019, Wembley Stadium

Montenegro v England – 7.45pm, Monday 25 March 2019

England v Bulgaria – 5pm, Saturday 7 September 2019

England v Kosovo – 7.45pm, Tuesday 10 September 2019

Czech Republic vs England – 7.45pm, Friday 11 October 2019

Bulgaria v England – 7.45pm, Monday 14 October 2019

England v Montenegro – 7.45pm, Thursday 14 November 2019

Kosovo v England – 5pm, Sunday 17 November 2019

All venues to be confirmed, aside from Czech Republic home game.

Qualifying resumes on Saturday September 7 with a home match against Bulgaria before another home game against Kosovo on Tuesday September 10.

There are back-to-back away fixtures in October starting with a visit to the Czech Republic on Friday October 11 before a visit to Bulgaria on Monday October 14.

And England’s qualification campaign concludes in November with a home game against Montenegro on November 14 and a trip to Kosovo on Sunday November 17.

If England finish in the top two of their five-team group, they will automatically qualify for the Euro 2020 finals.

However, they have the fall-back of a play-off place already secured because of their qualification to the UEFA Nations League finals.

The Nations League finals will be played in Portugal in June, meaning England do not have any qualifiers in that month.

England last played the Czech Republic back in August 2008 when a Wembley friendly match ended in a 2-2 draw.

They played Bulgaria during the qualifying campaign for Euro 2012, winning 4-0 at Wembley and 3-0 in Sofia.

The Three Lions have a modern history with Montenegro, having been paired with them in qualifying for both Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup.

England have never played Kosovo and this is the first European Championship campaign they have been involved in.

Southgate challenged his players to enjoy the most successful 18 months for more than half a century after they reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia and the Nations League finals.

‘It can be a really exciting 18 months,’ Southgate said. ‘We’ve got this coming summer to look forward to and then a big chance because we host [games at Euro 2020] and we have to make sure we are there.

‘That could be an incredibly exciting two-year period from the World Cup right through and a great opportunity for our players.’

Elsewhere in the qualifying draw, Wales begin their effort to make Euro 2020 with a home game against Slovakia on March 24. They also have Croatia, Hungary and Azerbaijan in Group E.

Northern Ireland host Estonia in their opening qualifier on March 21 but face a daunting group that contains Germany, Holland and Belarus.

Scotland open their qualifying bid with a long trip to Kazakhstan on March 21 – Belgium, Russia, Cyprus and San Marino compete their group.

The Republic of Ireland travel to Gibraltar in their first game on March 23. Other sides in their pool are Switzerland, Denmark and Georgia.

Euro 2020 qualifying fixtures

WALES QUALIFIERS

March 24, 2019 Slovakia (H)

June 8 Croatia (A)

June 11 Hungary (A)

September 6 Azerbaijan (H)

October 10 Slovakia (A)

October 13 Croatia (H)

November 16 Azerbaijan (A)

November 19 Hungary (H)

SCOTLAND QUALIFIERS

March 21, 2019 Kazakhstan (A)

March 24 San Marino (A)

June 8 Cyprus (H)

June 11 Belgium (A)

September 6 Russia (H)

September 9 Belgium (H)

October 10 Russia (A)

October 13 San Marino (H)

November 16 Cyprus (A)

November 19 Kazakhstan (H)

NORTHERN IRELAND QUALIFIERS

March 21, 2019 Estonia (H)

March 24 Belarus (H)

June 8 Estonia (A)

June 11 Belarus (A)

September 9 Germany (H)

October 10 Holland (A)

November 16 Holland (H)

November 19 Germany (A)

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND QUALIFIERS

March 23, 2019 Gibraltar (A)

March 26 Georgia (H)

June 7 Denmark (A)

June 10 Gibraltar (H)

September 5 Switzerland (H)

October 12 Georgia (A)

October 15 Switzerland (A)

November 18 Denmark (H)

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