Euro 2016 draw: Wales' best and worst-case scenarios

By Rob PhillipsBBC Wales football correspondent
Wales players celebrate qualification for Euro 2016
Wales secured qualification for Euro 2016 despite defeat to Bosnia-Herzegovina in their penultimate game
Euro 2016 draw
Venue: Palais des congres de Paris, Paris Date: Saturday, 12 December Starts: 17:15 GMT
Coverage: Match of the Day Live on BBC Two Wales, BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Wales; BBC Radio Ulster & BBC Radio 5 live

Saturday 12 December will be another landmark day for Welsh football.

Having guided his nation to a first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup, Wales manager Chris Coleman will be in Paris for the Euro 2016 draw.

It is there where he and the Football Association of Wales delegates will discover the team's opponents at next year's competition in France.

Simply qualifying was a huge achievement, and now the question is: what kind of group will Wales get?

Uefa draw

The best-case scenario

The draw will decide the six four team groups for next year's finals, with Wales facing one side from the other three pots in the group stages.

The top two in each group will go into the last 16 for the knockout stage, and will be joined by the four best third-placed sides.

Some Welsh fans will not mind who they are drawn against, as they still bask in the glory of qualification.

But if they have dreams of watching Wales progress beyond the group stage, they will have their fingers crossed for a kind draw.

Pot one is where the top seeds sit, and they will pose formidable opposition - but some are more beatable than others.

Facing old rivals England could appeal to the players and fans, though Coleman has said he would rather avoid Roy Hodgson's men.


Portugal have less major tournament pedigree than the likes of Spain and Germany, and the possibility of a duel between Real Madrid team-mates Cristiano Ronaldo and Wales' Gareth Bale is a tantalising prospect.

Ukraine are the lowest-seeded team in pot two, while Switzerland would hold no fear for Wales, who won their most recent meeting in 2011.

Where pot three is concerned, Hungary are probably the opponents Wales would be most confident of beating.

The worst-case scenario

The two teams Wales would most like to avoid in pot one are World Cup winners Germany and reigning European champions Spain.

There is little to choose between those two but, with Germany's stellar major tournament record in mind, Coleman might be eager to not face Joachim Low's side.


Another team who come alive on the big occasion are Italy, and their illustrious history would make them the pot two team to swerve - although Croatia are also a vastly talented side.

The biggest threat in pot three seem to be Poland, spearheaded by Bayern Munich's prolific striker Robert Lewandowski. The resurgent Czech Republic could be dangerous too.

How far can Wales go?

Although Wales have been absent from major tournaments for more than half a century, the other teams at Euro 2016 will want to avoid Coleman's men.

They are the highest-ranked fourth seeds and, in Gareth Bale, they have a world-class match-winner.

Wales national team

There is more to Wales than Bale but, if the Real Madrid forward is on form, they could do some damage against European football's giants.

Bale is in fine company as well, with Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey impressing for his club recently.

Ashley Williams was the cornerstone of an excellent Welsh defence during qualifying, and the captain will be hoping to inspire a similar solidity in France.

If Wales can replicate their qualifying form - and if Bale stays fit - there is a strong chance they could reach the knockout stages.