Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter, Frankfurt
The Republic of Ireland face a tough task to qualify for their first major tournament since Euro 2016 after being drawn to face world champions France, along with the Netherlands, Greece and Gibraltar in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.
The draws were held on Sunday morning, with Northern Ireland placed in the fifth pot of seeds. Ian Baraclough's side now face Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Kazakhstan and San Marino in Group H.
𝗨𝗘𝗙𝗔 𝗘𝗨𝗥𝗢 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟰 𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗙𝗬𝗜𝗡𝗚
Here’s a look at our group 🇮🇪👇
The road to #EURO2024 begins in March - fixtures announced in due course #COYBIG | #WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/JZjpELyX31
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) October 9, 2022
Meanwhile, England have been drawn to face European champions Italy. The Italians beat Gareth Southgate’s team on penalties in the Euro 2020 final last summer.
England will also face Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta.
Scotland, aiming to qualify for a second successive Euros, have been drawn against three-time European champions Spain in Group A, along with Erling Haaland’s Norway, Georgia and Cyprus.
Wales will feel they have a good chance of reaching a third consecutive major tournament, with 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia their toughest opponents in Group D. Rob Page’s team will also face Armenia, Turkey and Latvia.