Euro 2016 draw: Seeding pots for finals now beginning to take shape

The pots for Euro 2016 finals draw are almost known with 20 of the 24 qualifiers confirmed.

Hosts France will be joined by holders Spain plus Germany, England, Portugal and Belgium as the six seeded nations. France will automatially be drawn into position A1, playing their games in Paris, Marseille and Lille, with the other seeds placed into position 1 of groups B through to F.

The teams in pots 2 to 4 will be randomly drawn into a position in each group to create the fixture programme for the group stage of the finals. The draw ceremony begins at 5 p.m. GMT on Saturday, Dec. 12.

Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Austria and Russia are all guaranteed to be in the second pot, which means the Azzurri will face another tough group after only being third seeds at the World Cup last season and bowing out with England in the groups.

Bosnia-Herzegovina will complete pot 2 if they win their playoff next month. Ukraine -- if they qualify -- are positioned to benefit and move up from pot 3 should Bosnia fail to go through. If both Bosnia and Ukraine lose in the playoffs, then Czech Republic will be in pot 2.

Other certainties for the draw are that Poland, Romania and Slovakia will be in pot 3 (as will Sweden if they qualify), while Iceland, Wales, Albania and Northern Ireland are guaranteed to be in pot 4 and will be the four lowest-ranked nations at the finals no matter who comes through the playoffs.

UEFA on Wednesday confirmed the four playoff seeds as Bosnia, Ukraine, Sweden and Hungary. Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Norway and Slovenia are unseeded. The draw for that takes place on Sunday at 10.20 a.m. BST, with the two-legged ties to be played Nov. 12-17.

All four unseeded nations in the playoff draw are likely to drop into pot 4, though if at least two seeds lose then it could be possible to move into pot 3.

What we know for certain
Pot 1: France, Spain, Germany, England, Portugal, Belgium
Pot 2: Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Austria, Russia, +1 TBD
Pot 3: Poland, Romania, Slovakia, +3 TBD
Pot 4: Iceland, Wales, Albania, N Ireland, +2 TBD

If all seeds win in the playoffs
Pot 1: France, Spain, Germany, England, Portugal, Belgium
Pot 2: Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Austria, Russia, Ukraine
Pot 3: Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary
Pot 4: Turkey, Rep of Ireland, Iceland, Wales, Albania, N Ireland