'Netherlands And Germany Would Have Been A Really Tough Ask'

England's group in the Euro qualifiers. Image UEFA

England's group in the Euro qualifiers. Image UEFA

New Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy says he is "happy enough" with his side's draw for the Euro 2020 qualifiers in which they will face Switzerland and Denmark in Group D.

They share Group C with Northern Ireland, Estonia and Belarus.

Group A, featuring England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Kosovo, would arguably have been a more favourable draw for McCarthy's team.

Croatia has been drawn in Group E alongside Wales, Slovakia, Hungary and Azerbaijan.

Switzerland have qualified for the past two major tournaments, reaching the last 16 at both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, and have also reached next June's finals in the inaugural Nations League.

Ireland were beaten int the World Cup play-off, before the two sides played out two scoreless draws in their League B Nations League group.

"When England come to Pristina it will be the biggest event in the history of football in Kosovo", Kosovo coach Bernard Challandes said.

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Amsterdam, Munich and Dublin are among the 12 host cities for Euro 2020, so therefore Ireland could not be drawn alongside Germany and the Netherlands.

The fixture list will now be compiled later this afternoon, and with Ireland in a group of five, McCarthy's side will play just eight matches before the end of 2019 to determine whether they can take one of the 20 places on offer through these qualifying stages. Their neighbours the Republic of Ireland were initially drawn in Group C but were switched due to a rule that prevents more than two host countries competing in any one group.

Ireland were drawn in Group D against Switzerland, Denmark, Georgia and Gibraltar.

Group E: Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan.

Group F: Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Faroe Islands, Malta.

France, which won the World Cup in July and lost the Euro 2016 final on home soil, is in qualifying with Iceland, Turkey, Albania and Moldova.

Belgium, in Group I, face Russia, Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan and San Marino, while Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Greece, Armenia and Liechtenstein are in Group J. If one of the Nations League group winners have already secured a spot, the next-best team in that tier will make the playoffs.

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