By Dominic Hogan For Mailonline
Published: 16:00, 2 December 2023 | Updated: 17:27, 2 December 2023
Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for all the latest news and updates from the Euro 2024 draw where England are set to find out their group stage opponents.
Some pointers for the process…Well it’s draw time, which means a long run through of the technical pointers for the draw.
As we already know, there are 21 teams already named with three to go through the play-offs.
From each of the pots will come a name, falling into a group each, with Germany joined by best qualifiers England, France, Portugal, Belgium and Spain.
The three play-off winners have gone into Pot 4, which could be Wales, should they make it through.
Caption competition?Caption this…
The official song contributors are now revealed!And now perhaps the biggest announcement of the night – it’s the line-up for the official song of the tournament.
This one has been kept under lock and key for some time, and here we are.
It’s going to be a collaborative effort between Meduza, One Republic, Kim Petras!
And now for another montage – this time some more of the best goals from summer 2021.
Here’s what we’ve had so far…
And now for the rest…Next out are Greece’s Angelos Charisteas and Steve McManaman, followed by Denmark’s Bryan Laudrup and Tomas Rosicky.
In at six and seven are Ricardo Quaresma and Blaise Matuidi, looking extremely sharp the both of them, as we go into the tail and it’s a strong one.
Netherlands representative is Wesley Sneijder followed by Sami Khedira for Germany at nine.
Last of all is Spanish magician and legend is none other than two-time winner, Manchester City legend David Silva!
An interesting bowling attack that would be even if we are one short…
A special place in Buffon’s heartBuffon is unsurprisingly still glowing in his praise of that Italy side that went all the way last time out.
He was also part of the Azzurri side that lifted the World Cup in 2006, of course, and admits that Germany holds a place in his heart given it was the backdrop for perhaps the greatest achievement of his career.
Our first icon emergesSo we’re going to have a few icons out here tonight, and first out is Buffon.
Doesn’t need much of an intro, does he – he is the goalkeeper everyone from the last 30 years thinks of, and perhaps the best ever in his position.
Out he comes with the trophy, the representative of the reigning champs, of course.
Not an act you’d want to followRight, well you wouldn’t want to follow that one, but our hosts are back out to take us through the draw…
Look away England fans…We’ve now got to the more painful element of the night – footage of that night two summers ago at Wembley.
We’ll not go into just what it is that we’re seeing, but let’s just say Spalletti will be enjoying this part of the show in particular.
You’d have to say, though, it does work to the soundtrack, and Hans Zimmer might not have had Luke Shaw’s opener in mind when he wrote this particular score, but it doesn’t not work.
Kauffman keeps on goingWell after the swell of Time To Say Goodbye we drift into something of a heart-warmer for our third offering of the night.
Kauffman is currently nodding encouragingly to the soundtrack of Gladiator, with shots of Ronaldo in the background, rather than Russell Crowe. That’s probably fitting, you’d think.
Into song No 2…It’s not just the one but the two songs from Kauffman and Garrett!
The latter has been playing the violin since he was four as we’re told by the commentary.
Within a minute of that opener they launch into a rendition of Time To Say Goodbye – one of those perhaps made more famous by Boccelli.
And you’ve got to say, the Italian legend – who of course graced the hallowed KP Stadium to serenade Leicester after that miracle of miracles a few years back – would be impressed if he was in the building tonight.
A hauntingly-held last note is greated with rapturous applause.
Quite the scene-setterWell the humming is certainly over as Kauffman releases an enormous note with the German Youth Ensemble playing their hearts out to keep up with him.
Brief respite for Kauffman before he continues raising a few hairs on the back of necks in that hall.
Fantastic noise, and a pretty strong opener for the night so far!
Some music to get us going…Well first up is a musical number, which is only befitting given we’re in one of the most stunning concert halls in Europe.
A slight delay as the choir take up their places, accompanied by a solo violin and house band, but the conuctor starts us up.
It’s a rousing and maybe a little morose number that begins with plenty of humming against the backdrop of a slideshow taking us through each of the host cities, sung by Jonas Kauffman with David Garrett on violin.
A few pleasantries to negotiate at the start of the ceremony…Right then, we’re just a few minutes away from the show getting underway in Hamurg now…
Those of you who have seen your fair share of these ceremonies will know that it’s not simply a matter of tuning in, drawing out some names, and wrapping things up sharpish.
There will be a fair few pleasantries to kick start things off, so we’ll steer you through those until we can begin getting a glimpse of how things will shape up next summer!
What’s in it for the winners?But what do you get from winning – aside from football immortality and your name in the history books?
For any romantics thinking that might be enough of a reward, there is in fact a financial incentive for success next summer.
To find out just how much teams will make for lifting aloft the cup in Berlin in seven months time, check out the link below!
Tournament datesWhat about the dates for the tournament itself?
Well the group stages kick off with hosts Germany playing at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena on July 14, and will last all the way up until and will last 12 days, with all six groups playing three games in 12 days
The Round of 16 will run from June 29-July 2, the quarters on July 5 and 6, the semis July 9 and 10 and the show piece final four days after that one.
Hertha Berlin’s Olympiastadion is set to host the final. The stadium has a capacity of 74,475. The final will take place on Sunday, July 14.
But who will be lifting the trophy at the end of the month?
It may be a little too early for squad predictions…Admittedly, it’s probably a little bit too early to start speculating as to who gets a ticket on the plane for Southgate’s side next summer.
That being said, barring injury you’d expect a fair chunk of the regular faces to be on board; your Sakas, your Kanes, your Bellinghams etc etc.
But there are a couple of younger faces that are looking to force their way into contention ahead of the summer.
Check out the link below to see which two youngsters Jamie Carragher reckons have the best chance at sneaking their way into the squad!
And welcome to tonight’s venue!But it’s not all about the teams in the pots – just look at that venue!
It’s all set to take place at the iconic Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, which is a concert hall that sits on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River.
But what else do we know about the location where England’s Euro 2024 fate will be decided? Mail Sport takes a look….
Check out the link below for more on the Elbphilharmonie!
Are England the team to avoid?When Gareth Southgate takes his seat in Hamburg’s iconic Elbphilharmonie concert hall tonight, he’ll perch comfortably in the knowledge that England are the team everyone wants to avoid.
Group of Death? Who cares. Banana skin? So what? Home nations clash? No problem. Bring. It. On.
Read more about why England are the team to beat next summer at the link below!
And on the flip side…Admittedly we’ve a tendency to focus on the negatives, so we might as well take a look at the best possible way that this could pan out for Southgate’s side.
Mail Sport’s verdict: England, Albania, Slovenia, and Winner of Path C
Albania to their credit won their group ahead of Czech Republic and Poland, while Slovenia finished second, albeit level on points with group winners Denmark.
But while both sides had a good qualifying campaign, they have both played and lost to England six times in their history.
Play-off C meanwhile looks like it would present the best draw on paper from Group D.
It would be an incredible feat for Georgia, Luxembourg or Kazakhstan to make the tournament, as not one of the three have qualified for either the World Cup or European Championship. Greece won the tournament in its biggest ever shock in 2004 but would also be a good draw for the Three Lions.
What about a Group of Death?About now comes the point where we all fearfully work out what the ‘Group of Death’ could look like… and probably end up manifesting it!
For England, there are unfortunately quite a few teams that could pose a problem in Pots 2 and 3, with Italy also lurking ominously in Pot 4.
So, feasibly, we could end up with a group of England, Denmark, Croatia and Italy – or even Turkey and Netherlands from Pots 2 and 3 respectively.
Meanwhile the draw does at least mean the Three Lions will avoid Germany, France, Belgium, Portugal and Spain, which is always a good start!
And the play-offs?So, this play-offs business… when do those take place and who will be in them, other than Wales?
Six semi-finals split through three different potential paths of progression are scheduled to take place on 21 March 2024 and three finals on 26 March – with the winning three teams then entering the competition.
The three play-off semi-finals is as follows:
Semi-finals – Path A: Poland (1) vs Estonia (4) / Wales (2) vs Finland (3)Semi-finals – Path B: Israel (1) vs Iceland (4) / Bosnia and Herzegovina (2) vs Ukraine (3)Semi-finals – Path C: Georgia (1) vs Luxembourg (4) / Greece (2) vs Kazakhstan (3)
So what do we know already?So, what do we know?
Well we know the identities of all but three of the teams that will be playing in the competition next summer, and indeed what pots they currently sit in.
For example, England are in Pot 1, Scotland Pot 3, reigning champions Italy in Pot 4 and of course Wales havea chance of joining them in Pot 4 if they should win through the play-offs, but more on that in a bit!
The pot for the competition so far is as follows:
Pot 1: Germany (hosts), Portugal, France, Spain, Belgium, EnglandPot 2: Hungary, Turkey, Romania, Denmark, Albania, AustriaPot 3: Netherlands, Scotland, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech RepublicPot 4: Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, Play-off winner A, Play-off winner B, Play-off winner C
Good evening!Good evening and welcome to this, Mail Sport’s LIVE coverage of the draw for Euro 2024!
We’re six months out from the start date of the tournament in Germany next summer, and tonight Hamburg is playing host to European football’s biggest and best as they await their fates for the competition.
The ceremony is slated for 5pm with the first balls coming out of pots at around 5.15pm, so stick with us over the next hour or so as we build up to what should be a fascinating occasion!
Here’s what we’ve had so far…
So what do we know already?