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16 teams set for Euro 2020 playoffs; draw to shape games

The 16-team lineup for the 2020 European Championship playoffs was confirmed Tuesday with a draw needed this week to decide which three nations join Iceland in the top-tier bracket.

The 16 teams will be divided into four brackets based on their placement in last year’s Nations League, with the winner in each advancing to next year’s tournament.

Single-game semifinals in each bracket will be played on March 26, with the four finals played five days later.

Iceland's team players are seen after the end of the Euro 2020 Group H qualifying soccer match between Turkey and Iceland in Istanbul, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (AP Photo)

A UEFA draw on Friday will decide home advantage in the four playoff finals.

The final qualifying group games on Tuesday settled the second-tier League B playoffs: Bosnia-Herzegovina will host Northern Ireland, and Slovakia will host Ireland.

Iceland was the only team ranked high enough for the League A bracket that didn’t qualify directly for the tournament, meaning three teams that would otherwise have been in League C will be placed in that pot instead.

Denmark's head coach Age Hareide, left speaks to Ireland's head coach Mick McCarthy prior to the start of the Euro 2020 group D qualifying soccer match between Ireland and Denmark at the Aviva stadium in Dublin, Ireland, Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. (AP PhotoPeter Morrison)

Those three will be taken from the quartet of Bulgaria, Hungary, Israel and Romania.

The fourth team among those will face Scotland in League C, which also includes Norway and Serbia.

Scotland, Romania and Hungary are among the 12 host countries for the 24-team tournament. Their reward for advancing would be at least two home games in the Euro 2020 group stage.

League D includes Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia and Kosovo, four teams that have never reached a major tournament before.

Euro 2020 groups are drawn Nov. 30 in Bucharest, Romania, four months before the playoffs.

League A: Iceland vs. Bulgaria or Hungary or Israel or Romania, Bulgaria or Hungary or Israel or Romania vs Bulgaria or Hungary or Israel or Romania

League B: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Northern Ireland, Slovakia vs Ireland.

League C: Scotland vs. Bulgaria or Hungary or Israel or Romania, Norway vs. Serbia.

League D: Georgia vs. Belarus, North Macedonia vs. Kosovo.

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