Euro 2016 draw: The lowdown on England's qualifying group


After Sunday's draw for the Euro 2016 qualifiers, BBC Sport looks at England's Group E opponents: Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino.

It sees England take on some familiar foes, including Switzerland, who were coached by England boss Roy Hodgson from 1992 to 1995.

He said: "We have recent experience against them and, for me, it's fantastic to go back to a place where I had some good years."


Fifa world ranking: 6

Manager: Ottmar Hitzfeld

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri
Switzerland's star man Xherdan Shaqiri in action against Cyprus during World Cup qualifying

Star man: Xherdan Shaqiri. The diminutive Bayern Munich midfielder, 22, has been a regular for his country for the last four years.

Background: Roy Hodgson took Switzerland to a first World Cup for 28 years in 1994 and they also qualified for Euro 96 (although Hodgson had left by the time of the tournament), where they drew 1-1 with hosts England in the opening match. Euro 2012 was the only major tournament in the last five in which they have not featured, although they qualified for Euro 2008 as co-hosts. Hitzfeld's side reached this summer's World Cup in Brazil with seven wins and three draws from their 10 qualifiers, while Hitzfeld will be replaced by former Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic after the World Cup.

Past meetings: Wayne Rooney scored twice and Steven Gerrard also found the net as England beat the Swiss 3-0 in the group stage of Euro 2004. As well as the draw at Euro 96, England took four points in their two meetings in qualifying for Euro 2012. Switzerland have only managed two wins in 21 meetings between the sides dating back to 1933.


Fifa world ranking: 27 (joint)

Manager: Srecko Katanec

Star man: Valter Birsa. The AC Milan midfielder had stints with Auxerre and Genoa before moving to the San Siro last year.

Background: After the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia announced themselves on the international scene by shocking Ukraine in a qualifier to reach Euro 2000, where they impressed despite finishing bottom of their group. That side went on to reach the World Cup in 2002 and they also got to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa before finishing third in their qualifying group for Brazil 2014.

Past meetings: England beat Slovenia 1-0 thanks to Jermain Defoe's goal in the group stage in South Africa in 2010, and won 2-1 in a friendly at Wembley the previous year, when Defoe was also on target.


Fifa world ranking: 91 (joint)

Manager: Magnus Pehrsson

Konstantin Vassiljev
Konstantin Vassiljev celebrates earning Estonia a Euro 2012 play-off place

Star man: Konstantin Vassiljev. The Amkar Perm midfielder has scored 17 goals for his country, including a double in Estonia's 2-1 win in Northern Ireland, which sealed their play-off spot in Euro 2012 qualifying.

Background: Estonia initially struggled after they gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. But their Euro 2012 qualification campaign represented a high point in their footballing history as they clinched a play-off spot by winning their final three matches. After being drawn against the Republic of Ireland, they lost the home leg 4-0 and went out after drawing 1-1 in Dublin.

Past meetings: England recorded two 3-0 victories against the Baltic state in their ill-fated Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.


Fifa world ranking: 102

Manager: Igoris Pankratjevas

Star man: Marius Stankevicius is a defender of real pedigree. Currently with Turkish side Gaziantepspor, the 32-year-old has had stints at Sampdoria, Valencia, Sevilla and Lazio.

Background: Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, Lithuania first took part in qualifying for the 1996 European Championships but have never qualified for a major tournament. However, they have pulled off some notable shocks, including 1-1 draws in qualifiers in Germany and Italy in 2003 and 2006 respectively.

Past meetings: Lithuania have never played England, although they have faced Scotland in their last four European Championship qualifying campaigns, and managed a shock 1-0 win over the Scots in April 2003.

San Marino

Fifa world ranking: 207 (joint bottom with Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands)

San Marino score against England
Gualtieri celebrates his goal against England in 1993

Manager: Manzaroli Pierangelo

Star man: Andy Selva. He may be 37 but Selva is a legend in San Marino, having scored in the only victory in their history, a 1-0 win over Liechtenstein in 2004. He is his country's all-time top-scorer with eight goals.

Background: While other teams are setting their sights on France, San Marino are still looking for their first ever win in a qualifying match.

Past meetings: They shocked England when Davide Gualtieri gave the minnows the lead after 8.3 seconds in their World Cup qualifier in 1993 and, despite a 7-1 win, Graham Taylor's side failed to qualify for the tournament in the United States. England also met San Marino in qualifying for Brazil 2014 and have won all four meetings, scoring 26 goals.