Euro 2020 play-offs: All you need to know
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland handed final chance of qualifying for Euro 2020 via play-offs; matches to be played at end of March
Last Updated: 30/11/19 7:52am
Sixteen nations will be involved in the Euro 2020 play-offs, competing for the final four qualifying spots for next summer's tournament. It's complicated, but here's all you need to know...
Who's in the play-offs?
Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are among the 16 nations who have secured a second chance of qualifying for Euro 2020 via next March's play-offs.
The 16 teams have been divided into four play-off paths, as seen below:
- Path A: Iceland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania
- Path B: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland
- Path C: Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Israel
- Path D: Georgia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus
What's the play-off format?
In a similar format to the EFL play-offs, the highest-ranked team in each path will host the fourth-ranked team in one semi-final, with the second-ranked nation hosting the third-ranked nation in the other. Which team hosts the final was decided by UEFA in a draw on Friday November 22.
The play-offs are played in single-leg knockout matches. The winners of the two semi-finals will meet in a one-off final where the winner will qualify for Euro 2020. If the matches are level after 90 minutes, extra time and penalties will be used to determine a winner.
Right, so who's playing who in the semi-finals?
Things have become a lot clearer following the completion of the European Qualifiers campaign and the subsequent allocation of the 16 nations into the four play-off paths.
Here's how things stand...
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- Semi-final 1: Iceland vs Romania
- Semi-final 2: Bulgaria vs Hungary
Winner of Bulgaria vs Hungary match will host Path A play-off final.
- Semi-final 1: Bosnia & Herzegovina vs Northern Ireland
- Semi-final 2: Slovakia vs Republic of Ireland
Winner of Bosnia & Herzegovina vs Northern Ireland match will host Path B play-off final.
- Semi-final 1: Scotland vs Israel
- Semi-final 2: Norway vs Serbia
Winner of Norway vs Serbia match will host the Path C play-off final.
- Semi-final 1: Georgia vs Belarus
- Semi-final 2: North Macedonia vs Kosovo
Winner of Georgia vs Belarus match will host the Path D play-off final.
If both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland navigate their semi-final assignments against Slovakia and Bosnia & Herzegovina respectively, the two Irish nations will compete in a final in Belfast for a place at next summer's tournament.
Scots to face Israel
Scotland drew Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-finals as they aim to reach their first major finals in 22 years.
Steve Clarke's side were assured a home match because they topped their group at the inaugural Nations League, and victory at Hampden Park in March will see them visit either Norway or Serbia for a spot at Euro 2020.
When will the play-offs take place?
The Euro 2020 play-off semi-finals will be held on March 26, 2020 (7.45pm GMT), with the play-off finals taking place on March 31 (7.45pm BST). All of the matches are live on Sky Sports.
What's the prize for the Path winners?
The four play-off Path winners will secure the final four places at Euro 2020. Each nation will be placed into Pot 4 in the draw for next summer's tournament finals on November 30, meaning nations participating will know who they will face at Euro 2020 four months before they try to navigate the play-offs.
Who's already qualified for Euro 2020?
- England, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Croatia, Wales, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Austria, France, Turkey, Belgium, Russia, Italy, Finland.