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What are the Euro 2020 group qualification rules and how do three teams go through?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Euro 2020 is hotting up with teams battling to secure qualification to the knockout stages or hoping to keep alive hopes of doing so.

France are the favourites to add the European Championship to their 2018 World Cup triumph but don’t rule out defending champions Portugal or England, who with as many as six games on home soil, have as good a chance as ever.

The 24-team tournament is split into six groups of four meaning the rules for progression into the knockout phase aren’t quite as simple as normal.

At a World Cup, where there are 32 teams, the equation is simple where the top two from each of the eight groups go through to make up the last 16.

The new Euros format is slightly more complicated as the competition attempts to get 24 teams down to 16 for the first knockout round.

First of all, the winners and runners-up in each of the six groups automatically qualify for the next round.

Then things get interesting with the four best third-placed teams also making it through.

The tie-breaker between teams on the same points is head-to-head record followed by goal difference and goals scored between the teams in question followed by overall goal difference, goals scored, total wins and then finally disciplinary record.

Portugal, winners five years ago, profited from this exact scenario as after drawing all three of their group games they went through as one of the best third-placed teams with their goal difference of zero better than Turkey and Albania’s -2.

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