Seven places on offer in Germany U19 finals

Holders Spain lead the 28 teams who will contest the seven qualifying berths for this summer's final tournament when the 2015/16 elite round is played this week.

Spain celebrate winning their seventh U19 title in 2015
Spain celebrate winning their seventh U19 title in 2015 ©Sportsfile

Holders and seven-time champions Spain, plus former winners France, Serbia, Ukraine and Italy, are among the 28 teams bidding for a place in the 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship when the elite round begins on Wednesday.

Elite round groups
Group 1 (24-29 March): Spain (holders)*, England, Greece, Georgia

Group 2 (25-30 March): Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, Italy*

Group 3 (24-29 March): Czech Republic, Austria*, Romania, Slovakia

Group 4 (24-29 March): Netherlands*, Poland, Ukraine, Northern Ireland

Watch Spain win 2015 final
Watch Spain win 2015 final

Group 5 (23-28 March): Belgium, Croatia*, Scotland,  Bulgaria

Group 6 (24-29 March): Portugal*, Slovenia, Sweden, Russia

Group 7 (24-29 March): France, Serbia*, Montenegro, Denmark

*Hosts

• The seven group winners will join hosts Germany in the finals from 11 to 24 July. The finals draw will be held in Stuttgart on 12 April.

Preview
• Spain won their seventh U19 title in 14 years with victory against Russia in Greece last summer.

• Serbia beat France in the 2014 final in Lithuania to win the trophy for the first time.

• Four players scored five goals in the qualifying round: Jean-Kévin Augustin (France), Nany Dimata (Belgium), Anas Mahamid (Israel) and Ivan Šaponjić (Serbia).

2010: France's second title
2010: France's second title

• Belgium and France were the qualifying round's top scorers overall with 13 goals each. Slovenia, England, Portugal and Austria all kept three clean sheets.

• Portugal, Switzerland and the Czech Republic were the only sides to win all three qualifying round games.

• Denmark, Montenegro and Sweden are the only sides in the elite round who have never qualified for the U19 final tournament.

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