England draw Swiss, Italy face Croatia
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A number of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ sides will face off in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying, after being pitted against one another in the draw in Nice today.

England were drawn into Group E, along with Switzerland while Italy will face Croatia on the road to France. In Group B, Belgium were pitted against fellow Brazil 2014 qualifiers Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Other standout ties saw Gibraltar drawn into a tough group, and their first competitive internationals will include games against Germany and the Republic of Ireland. The Netherlands also renew acquaintances with Turkey, who they faced in qualifying for Brazil 2014.

The competition will be held in France and will see 24 nations advance to the finals for the first time in the history of the European Championships. Only eight nations participated in the finals when France last hosted the competition in 1984, before the number of finalists was increased to 16 in 1996.

The format means it seems almost certain that all Europe's leading nations will be there along with the French, who qualify automatically as hosts. The top two teams in each of the nine groups will advance to the finals along with the best third-placed side, while the remaining third-placed nations will play off for four more berths.

There are eight groups of six teams as well as one - Group I - that contains five nations. However, France are also allocated to that group and will play friendly matches against those teams, for which no points will be awarded.

The first qualifiers will be played on 7 September and the campaign will see matches spread over six days, from Thursday to Tuesday, during every international break in a format that UEFA have labelled the 'Week of Football'. The finals themselves will run from 10 June to 10 July 2016.

Full draw:

Group A: Czech Republic, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Netherlands, Turkey

Group B: Andorra, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Israel, Wales

Group C: Belarus, FYR Macedonia, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine

Group D: Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland

Group E: England, Estonia, Lithuania, San Marino, Slovenia, Switzerland

Group F: Faroe Islands, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Northern Ireland, Romania

Group G: Austria, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Sweden

Group H: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Malta, Norway

Group I: Albania, Armenia, Denmark, France, Portugal, Serbia