Northern Ireland’s Under-21 men’s team will face England and Ukraine in the qualifiers for UEFA U21 Euro 2025.
In this morning’s draw for the qualifiers, Northern Ireland were placed in a six-team section (Group F) which also features Serbia, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg.
Based on co-efficient rankings, Northern Ireland’s U21s were placed in Pot 4 for the draw, while England and Ukraine were in Pot 1 and Pot 2 respectively.
Serbia were plucked from Pot 3, while Azerbaijan and Luxembourg were in pots five and six.
The draw for UEFA U21 Euro 2025 qualifiers was held at UEFA HQ in Switzerland.
The 52 entrants involved in qualifying will compete between this March and November 2024 for 15 places at the final tournament in Slovakia.
The teams were drawn into seven groups of six teams and two groups of five teams.
The groups will be played between March this year and October 2024. The dates/venues for Northern Ireland’s group matches will be confirmed soon.
The nine group winners and the three best runners-up (not counting results against sixth-placed teams) will qualify directly for the final tournament in the summer of 2025.
The other six runners-up will play off over two legs for the remaining three finals berths in November 2024. Slovakia automatically qualify for the tournament as hosts.
There are eight international windows in which group matches can be staged. The first one is March this year, while the other windows in 2023 are in June, September, October and November. The windows in 2024 are in March, September and October, with the play-offs being staged between 11 and 19 November next year.
In the U21 Euro 2023 qualification campaign Northern Ireland finished third in Qualifying Group C on seven points. Spain (24 points) topped the group, while Slovakia (15 points) finished second.
Both England and Ukraine have qualified for the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals, which are being staged in Romania and Georgia this summer.