The qualifying group stage will decide 14 of the 15 teams to join the Netherlands in the expanded finals.
Qualifying group stage draw
Group 1: Iceland, Scotland, Belarus, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia
Group 2: Spain*, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Portugal, Montenegro
Group 3: France*, Ukraine, Romania, Greece, Albania
Group 4: Sweden*, Denmark, Poland, Slovakia, Moldova
Group 5: Germany* (holders), Russia, Hungary, Turkey, Croatia
Group 6: Italy, Switzerland*, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Georgia
Group 7: England*, Belgium, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia
Group 8: Norway*, Austria, Wales, Israel, Kazakhstan
14.00CET, 20 April, Nyon
• The 40 entrants consist of 38 nations given a bye to this round and the two preliminary round group winners: Georgia and debutants Moldova.
• Eight groups will be formed of five teams apiece.
• Each side is placed in one of five seedings pots depending on their coefficient ranking.
• A ball will first be drawn from Pot E to determine the team in the fifth position of Group 1. Then a second ball will be drawn from Pot E to decide the team in the fifth position of Group 2. A third ball will be drawn from Pot E to define the team in the fifth position of Group 3. The same procedure is repeated until the fifth position in Group 8 is filled.
• Then, the eight sides in Pot D are drawn into the fourth position of each group, starting with Group 1 and ending with Group 8 (in numerical order).
• The same procedure applies to Pots C to A, taking into consideration the respective positions within the respective groups.
• Matches will be played home and away from 14 September 2015 to 20 September 2016.
Pot A: Germany (holders)*, France*, Sweden*, Norway*, England*, Italy, Spain*, Iceland
Pot B: Russia, Denmark. Finland, Switzerland*, Scotland, Austria, Ukraine, Belgium
Pot C: Poland, Czech Republic, Wales, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Belarus
Pot D: Portugal, Northern Ireland, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Israel, Slovenia, Greece
Pot E: Estonia, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Albania, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Georgia, Moldova
*Competing at 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup
• The group winners and the six best runners-up will join the hosts, the Netherlands, in the final tournament.
• The other two runners-up will play off in October 2016 for the remaining berth in the expanded 16-team finals to be held the following summer.
Road to the Netherlands
Qualifying group stage draw: 14.00CET, 20 April 2015, Nyon
Qualifying group stage: 14 September 2015–20 September 2016
Play-off draw: 23 September 2016, Nyon
Play-offs: 17–25 October 2016
Finals draw: late 2016, Netherlands
Finals: July/August 2017, Netherlands