The draw for UEFA U21 Euro 2025 qualifiers is set to be held at UEFA HQ in Switzerland tomorrow (2 February).
The 52 entrants involved in qualifying will compete between this March and November 2024 for 15 places at the final tournament in Slovakia.
Based on co-efficient rankings, Northern Ireland have been placed in Pot 4 for the draw along with eight other nations: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, North Macedonia, Wales, Belarus and Albania.
Northern Ireland cannot face a team from the same pot, however they will definitely be taking on some heavyweight European opposition in their group.
Potential opponents from Pot 1 include Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, Netherlands, England, Denmark, Italy and Romania.
The Republic of Ireland will be in Pot 2 along with Croatia, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Sweden and Austria.
Pot 3 features Norway, Greece, Iceland, Slovenia, Israel, Finland, Georgia, Serbia and Scotland.
Potential opponents from Pot 5 include Kosovo, Montenegro, Moldova, Lithuania, Faroe Islands, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Latvia.
Malta, who defeated Northern Ireland home and away in the most recent U21 Euro qualifying campaign, are in Pot 6 along with Armenia, Luxembourg, Andorra, Estonia, Gibraltar and San Marino.
The teams will be 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 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.
The qualifying draw for the 2025 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Slovakia is set to be streamed live on uefa.com tomorrow - at 09:00 CET (08:00 UK time).