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The Euro 2020 Qualification draw - best and worst case scenario for Portugal

The Euro 2020 Qualification draw - best and worst case scenario for Portugal

The draw for the Euro 2020 qualifiers takes place at 11:00 GMT in Dublin, Ireland, with Portugal one of the 10 seeded teams for the competition.

Portugal know that even if they fail to qualify from their group, they will have a backup option to make the European Championship, having reached the last four of the UEFA Nations League alongside England, Switzerland and The Netherlands.

As a result of reaching the semi-final of the inaugural Nations League, Portugal also know that they will be in a group of 5 teams, and will not have to play any of the bottom six European sides (Latvia, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Malta and San Marino).

However, while there is an additional route to the Euros, Portugal will certainly fancy their chances of qualifying by virtue of the traditional method, with the top two sides in each group qualifying for the main event. 

But what is the best and worst case scenario for Portugal?  We take a look at who may be favourable options in each pot and, more pertanently, who to avoid.

Seedings for the draw - pot 2 to pot 5

Pot Two: Germany, Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Austria, Wales, Czech Republic.

Pot Three: Slovakia, Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Finland, Bulgaria, Israel.

Pot Four: Hungary, Romania, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Cyprus, Estonia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Georgia.

Pot Five: Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus, Luxembourg, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Gibraltar, Faroe Islands.

Worst Case Scenario

From pot 2, there is one team that stands out as the 'avoid at all cost' outfit: Germany. Having suffered a disastrous World Cup last summer, finishing bottom of their group and failing to make the knockout stage of the biggest international football competition for the first time since the 1950s, Germany then suffered relegation from League A, finishing behind The Netherlands and France.

However, Germany are still undoubtedly menacing opposition, possessing going superstars in their ranks scattered across the biggest clubs in the European game. With Portugal's poor record against the Germans also taken into account, we don't want to see Germany and Portugal facing off, competitively at least, in 2019.

From pot 3, the strongest side would likely be Serbia. Having qualified for the last World Cup, Serbia have proven their ability at successfully competing against other European outfits, and have a squad blended with both experience and youth but, most crucially, packed with quality too. Definitely one to avoid.

Most football fans would agree that Greece are the side to avoid in pot 4, but it is likely even more the case for Seleção supporters. Having suffered try defeats to Greece in 2004, ultimately resulting in Portugal losing the final of European Championship in Lisbon, the scars are yet to fully heal. That, added to the fact that they are likely the strongest side of all in pot 4, makes them a threat, and a side to avoid.

None of the pot 5 teams strike too much fear in Seleção supporters, perhaps with the exception of one: Kosovo.  Something of a wildcard having only previously seen them compete in one qualifying campaign, their efforts in the Nations League surprised and thrilled us all, and they truly announced themselves to the European stage.

With a very proud backing and results to back up their increased optimism, Kosovo could prove a challenge to many a side. Fortunately perhaps, it is impossible for Serbia and Kosovo to be drawn into the same group. Therefore, swapping Kosovo for Macedonia would likely constitute the hardest draw.

GROUP TO AVOID: Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Greece, Macedonia.

Best case scenario

There's no such thing as an easy game, of course, and any side in pot 2 will provide stern competition, that is for sure. As such, choosing the so-called 'easiest' option is something of a challenge.

That said, if one could pick a side from pot 2, most eyes would likely glance to Czech Republic. Having failed to do anything noteworthy in major tournaments in the last decade, their reputation in the footballing stage has taken a bit of a hit, and could be the man desirable opposition from what is a tough selection of sides.

From pot 3, either of Northern Ireland or Bulgaria would be, on paper, relatively good draws for Portugal, but the best option is perhaps Israel. By no means an easy opposition, and not the easiest of places to play, but likely a slight drop-down in quality compared to the other side in the pot.

From pot 4, Lithuania would be favorable; having failed to pick up a single point in any of their six UEFA Nations League matches, scoring just 3 goals in the process, they haven't impressed, and shouldn't cause Portugal too many problems.

From pot 6, there's one side that standout: Gibraltar. While they fully deserves their place as a pot 5 side after heroics against Liechtenstein and, more impressively, Armenia, they deserve a great deal of respect for their achievements. But of all the pot 5 outfits, they should be the one to provide the fewest problems.

FAVOURABLE GROUP: Portugal, Czech Republic, Israel, Lithuania, Gibraltar.

Actual draw

The real draw has now taken place, with Portugal ultimately avoiding Germany, but being paired with Serbia from pot 3:

ACTUAL GROUP: Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg.

Portugal avoid Germany but draw Ukraine and Serbia in their Euro 2020 qualifying group

Portugal avoid Germany but draw Ukraine and Serbia in their Euro 2020 qualifying group

Porto qualify for the next round of the Champions League - and are the group winners

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