Croatia has been placed in Pot 2, together with Ukraine, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary and the Republic of Ireland.
Head coach Niko Kovač has no particular expectations for the draw in Nice, which he will attend: “As it was the case before the World Cup draw, I have no particular expectations, since we cannot influence the results of the draw. All opponents are welcomed and we are looking forward to the challenge. Unfortunately, we are not top seeds, but on the bright side, for the first time 23 teams will secure the berth, next to the host nation France”.
Two top teams from each group will qualify for the finals, along with the third-placed side with the best record against the first, second, fourth and fifth in their pool. Other third-placed teams will enter the play-off.
The pot seedings were based on the UEFA coefficients, taking into account results from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2012 UEFA European Championship and qualifying, and 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
Five pots consist of nine teams, while the Pot 6 consists of eight. The host nation France will be placed in the five-team group, in order to play friendly matches. Due to the political reasons, Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as Spain and Gibraltar – the debutants in major tournament qualifying – will be kept apart.
European qualifiers are scheduled from September 2014 to October 2015. UEFA will present the match schedule immediately after the draw.
Pot 1: Spain (title holders), Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Pot 2: Ukraine, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Republic of Ireland.
Pot 3: Serbia, Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Norway, Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Poland.
Pot 4: Montenegro, Armenia, Scotland, Finland, Latvia, Wales, Bulgaria, Estonia, Belarus.
Pot 5: Iceland, Northern Ireland, Albania, Lithuania, Moldova, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Cyprus.
Pot 6: Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar