The Netherlands and Germany were grouped together in qualification for the 2020 European Championship at Sunday’s draw in Dublin, one of 12 host cities for the finals that will be staged across the continent for the first time.
Germany, the team everyone wanted to avoid after their poor showing in UEFA’s new Nations League competition pushed them into the second pot of seeds. They will play Northern Ireland, Estonia and Belarus in Group C when the qualification competition begins in March.
The Dutch, European champions in 1988, failed to qualify for the last two major tournaments, but have been rejuvenated under new coach Ronald Koeman, beating Germany in November on their way to securing a spot in the final stages of the Nations League.
“I wasn’t happy because they are strong. They were the strongest team in the second pot but Germany are also not happy with Holland, I think. I think the rest of the draw is acceptable but with the Germans, it will be a good fight. We know it will be tough to beat them. The development of the team is really positive and we look forward,” says Koeman
Holders Portugal must face Ukraine and Serbia in a tricky five team Group B which also includes Lithuania and Luxemburg while world champions France drew Iceland and Turkey in Group H.
Elsewhere three times champions Spain were drawn in Group F with Sweden, Norway and Romania. England, one of the other in-form teams from the Nations League will face the Czech Republic and Bulgaria in Group A.