England drawn against France in qualifying as road to Euro 2025 begins

England celebrate with the trophy at Wembley in 2022  (Getty)
England celebrate with the trophy at Wembley in 2022 (Getty)

England will take on France, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland in competitive Group A3 as they begin the journey to defend their European crown by qualifying for Euro 2025.

France lost the Nations League final to Spain last month but qualified for this year’s Olympics and are ranked third in the world, with England fourth and Sweden fifth. England thrashed Sweden in the semi-finals on their way to winning Euro 2022.

Sarina Wiegman, England head coach, believes her side’s group will be “tough”.

Speaking from Nyon, she said: “It’s a tough draw but it is a really exciting draw.

“Of course, we all went into the draw knowing that Sweden – one of the top countries – would be in Pot 3 because of their Nations League performance in 2023. So with France, Sweden, and Ireland in our group, it will be very competitive.

“It’s exciting and now we just have to show up and perform. For the fans and for football, it is really good because it will be so competitive.”

Sarina Wiegman speaks about her side’s Euro 2025 qualifying draw (PA)
Sarina Wiegman speaks about her side’s Euro 2025 qualifying draw (PA)

France are coached by Hervé Renard, who led the Saudi Arabia men’s team to the 2022 World Cup, and they are ranked third in the world.

“France have a very good squad and they showed their qualities by reaching the Nations League final,” Wiegman said.

“I’m really excited to play against France because we haven’t faced them during my time as England head coach, so I’m really looking forward to those two games.”

World champions Spain will take on Denmark, Belgium and the Czech Republic in Group A2, while eight-time European champions Germany face neighbours Austria and Poland as well as Iceland in Group A4.

Scotland will meet Serbia, Slovakia and Israel in B2, Northern Ireland will take on Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Malta in Group B3, while Wales face Croatia, Ukraine and Kosovo in Group B4.

The qualifying format sees the 16 top nations, ranked by their performance in the 2023-24 Uefa Nations League, enter into League A and split into four groups of four. The next 16 nations form League B and the final 19 teams make up League C.

The top two sides from each League A group will automatically qualify for Euro 2025, with the remaining seven places at the tournament determined via a play-off round contested by the best-ranked sides who have not automatically qualified.

The fixtures will be played between April and July in a standard home and away round-robin format.

Euro 2025 qualifying draw

Group A1

  • Netherlands

  • Italy

  • Norway

  • Finland

Group A2

  • Spain

  • Denmark

  • Belgium

  • Czech Republic

Group A3

  • France

  • England

  • Sweden

  • Republic of Ireland

Group A4

  • Germany

  • Austria

  • Iceland

  • Poland

Group B1

  • Switzerland

  • Hungary

  • Turkey

  • Azerbaijan

Group B2

  • Scotland

  • Serbia

  • Slovakia

  • Israel

Group B3

  • Portugal

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Northern Ireland

  • Malta

Group B4

  • Wales

  • Croatia

  • Ukraine

  • Kosovo

Group C1

  • Belarus

  • Lithuania

  • Cyprus

  • Georgia

Group C2

  • Slovenia

  • Latvia

  • North Macedonia

  • Moldova

Group C3

  • Greece

  • Montenegro

  • Andorra

  • Faroe Islands

Group C4

  • Romania

  • Bulgaria

  • Kazakhstan

  • Armenia

Group C5

  • Albania

  • Estonia

  • Luxembourg