The UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying draw at Nice's Palais des Congrès Acropolis on Sunday signals the start of a new era, with a record 53 teams learning what lies between them and a place alongside France in the final tournament.
The increased entry is among a host of initiatives for the European Qualifiers, and so you know what to expect here is a brief guide.
How does qualifying work?
The European Qualifiers are made up of eight groups of six teams and one of five teams, who contest home and away fixtures. The nine group winners, the nine group runners-up and the best third-placed side will qualify directly for the final tournament. The eight remaining third-placed teams will contest play-offs to determine the last four qualifiers for the 24-nation finals.
What is the Week of Football?
For the first time, qualifying takes place under the new Week of Football concept, which sees games played from Thursday to Tuesday. Kick-off times will be set mainly at 18.00CET and 20.45CET on Saturdays and Sundays and at 20.45CET for Thursdays, Fridays, Mondays and Tuesdays. On double-header matchweeks, teams will play on Thursday/Sunday, Friday/Monday or Saturday/Tuesday. Each day will have eight to ten matches. The game dates can be found here.
How are France involved?
France are assured of their place in the final tournament, but will play centralised friendlies in accordance with the Week of Football match schedule against teams from the five-team qualifying group. There will be no points awarded for games in which France figure, so these will have no affect on the Group I table.
What are the pots?
The competing countries, including debutants Gibraltar, have been divided into seeding pots based on their UEFA national team coefficients, which take into account results from qualifying and the final tournament of both the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2012, and 2014 World Cup qualifying.
Pot 1: Spain (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
For political reasons the UEFA Executive Committee has ruled that Azerbaijan cannot meet Armenia, and Spain cannot play Gibraltar. For television rights reasons, England, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands must be in six-team sections.
Who is doing the draw?
EURO winners Ruud Gullit and Bixente Lizarazu will join UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino and 13 of Europe's goalkeeping greats on stage for the draw. France's UEFA European Championship winning keeper in 2000, Fabien Barthez, will bring on the Henri Delaunay Cup, while seven more EURO winners – Ivo Viktor (Czechoslovakia, 1976), Andreas Köpke (Germany, 1996), Antonis Nikopolidis (Greece, 2004), José Ángel Iribar (Spain, 1964), Dino Zoff (Italy, 1968), Hans van Breukelen (Netherlands, 1988) and Peter Schmeichel (Denmark, 1992) – are among the participants.
Where can I watch it?
Right here. We will have all the build-up from across Europe before the draw is streamed live on UEFA.com from 12.00CET, followed by all the reaction from Nice and beyond.
Still not satisfied?
There are a host of features on qualifiers past to whet your appetite, or refresh your memory with a look through the UEFA European Championship final tournament archives. If that is still not enough then check out our comprehensive draw press kit.
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