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Holders France dealt difficult draw

Holders France face a couple of tough obstacles if they are to defend their title in Italy next summer after being paired with the Netherlands and Denmark in the second qualifying round.

France and England file past the trophy before the 2010 final
France and England file past the trophy before the 2010 final ©Sportsfile

France have learned the latest obstacles between them and defending their UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship title in Italy next summer following today's second qualifying round draw in Nyon.

The holders must overcome Denmark, Lithuania and last season's semi-finalists the Netherlands in Group 1, one of six mini-tournaments to be held from 31 March to 5 April 2011. The team Michel Degrange's charges beat in June's final, England, will face Norway, Croatia and Portugal in Group 4.

Last season's finalists are among 23 teams that advanced through September's first qualifying round. Germany were given a bye as the team with the highest coefficient, and their bid for a fourth U19 title kicks off in Group 3 against an ever-improving Iceland side and the hosts in 2012 and 2013, Turkey and Wales.

The six group winners and the runner-up with the best record against the first and third-placed teams in their section will join hosts Italy in the finals in Rimini from 30 May to 11 June 2011.

Second qualifying round draw (hosts in bold)
Group 1: France, Netherlands, Denmark, Lithuania

Group 2: Russia, Belgium, Finland, Serbia

Group 3:Germany, Iceland, Wales, Turkey

Group 4: England, Norway, Croatia, Portugal

Group 5: Switzerland, Czech Republic, Sweden, Ukraine

Group 6: Austria, Spain, Scotland, Poland

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