Who exactly will Russia play with?
Usually the final draw of the World Cups and European Football Championships turns into a real show when until the last moment the fans have no idea who their favorite team will play with, discuss their preferred rivals and choose which city or country it is better to go to matches. In November-December of odd years, this story repeats itself every time.
But before Euro 2020, such heated discussions, unfortunately, will not be. The format of the tournament itself, when the matches will be held throughout the Old World, suggests that long before the official draw it will already be known where this or that team will play and which opponents will fall into its groups. Not all questions are still given full answers, but something fans may already know.
So, two rivals of the Russian team have already been identified, which automatically fell into group B as one of the hosts of the tournament. Wards Stanislav Cherchesov secured themselves getting into the second draw of the draw, as one of the two best-rated UEFA teams among those that took second place in their qualifying group. This means that the Russians in any case would not have met at the group stage of Euro 2020 with France, Poland, Switzerland, Croatia and the Netherlands.
Previously, Russian fans would have to wait for their team to get the rest of the baskets. But in the case of the first, the answer is obvious - this is Belgium. Four other teams - England, Germany, Italy and Spain - host Euro matches and already know their groups. The Ukrainian team will also not be able to get into the same group with Russia at the request of UEFA.
Denmark comes from the third basket of the Russian team, and not Portugal, Turkey, Austria, Sweden or the Czech Republic, as one might assume. The fact is that Russia and Denmark are united in one pair of host countries and must be in the same group. This, by the way, is the only case so far when both teams from the same pair were able to qualify for the Euro.
Who else can Russia play with?
The composition of the fourth draw is not yet fully determined. So far, only Finland and Wales have been able to qualify for Euro 2020. Suomi fans would surely like to join the group to Russia to attend their nearest matches in St. Petersburg and Copenhagen, but it’s too early to guess.
Four more teams from the fourth basket will be determined by the results of a separate playoff between the best teams from the League of Nations, which are not directly selected. These matches will be held in March next year. Of the 16 teams, divided into four so-called paths, only four will remain, which will be distributed among the already formed groups.
Among these 16 teams, there are four host countries that will also host Euro 2020 matches. These are Ireland, Romania, Scotland and Hungary. They hit paths A, B, and C — by the name of the League of Nations divisions in which they played. According to the regulations, the winner of the two-match playoffs from the path taken by the host country is automatically sent to her group (or one of the two groups), even if she herself could not win the playoffs.
In other words, any teams from paths A, B and C will definitely not fall into the same group with Russia, but will go to groups C, D, E or F. And this excludes meetings with 12 teams at once - except for the host countries already listed in Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Norway, Serbia, Bulgaria and Israel will not come to St. Petersburg under any circumstances.
Possible rivals are only the playoffs on route D - these are Georgia, Northern Macedonia, Kosovo and Belarus. But here it is not so simple. Kosovo also cannot meet with Russia, so if its team qualifies for the Euro, it will not fall into the Russian group, just like Ukraine. In this case, an additional draw will be held after the end of the playoffs in order to finally settle all the issues.
So the circle of possible rivals of Russia is narrowed to only five teams - Finland, Wales, Georgia, Northern Macedonia and Belarus. The last three, together with Kosovo, still need to determine the best among themselves, and finally a ticket among them will be played on March 31. It is possible that on this day the composition of the Russian group will take its final form.
Where will the Russian team play?
The answer to this question is obvious - at home, in St. Petersburg, at the Gazprom Arena stadium. However, it is still unknown how many matches Cherchesov’s wards will play in their field - two or three. Indeed, Denmark claims to play all three times at home. The draw will resolve this dispute. If it does not work out in favor of the Russian team, then she will have to make one trip to Copenhagen.
It is likely that the Russian team after the group stage will still return to St. Petersburg and play there in the quarterfinals - the city must host one of the meetings of this stage. But for this to happen, there must be too many factors. The Russians should take third place in their group and hope that in this case they will reach the group F triumph in the 1/8 finals and play with him in Bucharest. The winner of this meeting will continue the playoffs in St. Petersburg.
In all other cases, the Russian team will start the elimination tournament if it really breaks through, in other cities - in Bilbao, Glasgow or Amsterdam. In Baku and Rome, she will still be able to come to the quarter finals, and in London - only to the semifinals and finals. In Budapest, Dublin and Munich, the Russian team, with all the desire, the fans will not find in any way throughout the entire Euro 2020.
What happens in other groups?
Group B, in which the Russian team will play, is still the only one that has already included three teams. Somewhere so far there is only one participant, and somewhere already two. The Euro 2020 draw, which will take place on November 30 in Bucharest, will randomly determine all three rivals for Italy, Germany and England. Spain also has no neighbors in the group, but someone from path B will definitely play with it - Ireland, Slovakia, Northern Ireland or Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In group C, Ukraine already got the Netherlands. Andrei Shevchenko’s wards, who ended up in the first basket, simply did not find a place in other quartets - there are either teams from the same basket or Russia.