The Ireland U21s have learnt 2025 U21 EURO qualifying opponents

The Ireland U21s have learnt 2025 U21 EURO qualifying opponents

THE Republic of Ireland Under-21s will face Italy, Norway, Türkiye, Latvia and San Marino in Group A of the 2025 UEFA European U21 Championship qualifiers.Following the draw in Nyon, Switzerland this morning, Ireland, who were second seeds for the first time at this age grade, were drawn in a six-team group. Fixtures to be confirmed in due course.

The nine group winners and the three best runners-up (not counting results against sixth-placed teams) will qualify directly for the tournament alongside hosts Slovakia.

The other six runners-up will play off over two legs for the remaining three finals berths in November 2024.

Republic of Ireland Under-21s Head Coach Jim Crawford said: "We've some exciting games coming up against quality opposition and my staff and I can't wait to test ourselves against some top European nations. Italy, Norway, and Türkiye have great international pedirgree and Latvia and San Marino will be a new test for us. Qualification for the Under-21 European Championship is always a challenge and this is a challenge we're looking forward to."These games will be a great opportunity for players to develop and prepare for senior international football. I look forward to working with them as they will be new generation of Under-21s internationals."

Ireland missed out on the last major tournament for the 2023 U21 tournament by losing out to Israel after a penalty shoot-out last September.

Ireland will prepare for the upcoming campaign with a friendly against Iceland at Turner's Cross on Sunday, March 26.

UEFA European U21 Championship qualifiying groups

Group A: Italy, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Turkey, Latvia, San Marino

Group B: Spain, Belgium, Scotland, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Malta

Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Georgia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Gibraltar

Group D: Germany, Poland, Israel, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Estonia

Group E: Romania, Switzerland, Finland, Albania, Montenegro, Armenia

Group F: England, Ukraine, Serbia, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg

Group G: Portugal, Croatia*, Greece, Belarus, Faroe Islands, Andorra

Group H: France, Austria, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus

Group I: Denmark, Czech Republic, Iceland, Wales, Lithuania