The draw for the Elite Round of qualification for the UEFA Under-19 and UEFA Under-17 European Championships has been made, with Scotland handed a tough draw in both competitions.
Having topped their qualifying group to qualify for a fifth Elite Round in succession, Billy Stark’s under-19s will take on Portugal, Turkey and Cyprus for a place in next summer’s finals in Armenia.
The fixtures will take place from 20-26 March 2019, with top seeds Portugal hosting the group.
As defending champions, the Portuguese will go into the Elite Round as favourites, having claimed victory at Finland 2018 in an extra-time thriller against Italy.
Also present at last year’s tournament, Turkey will also provide a tough test for Scotland, as Stark’s men look to become the first Scotland side to qualify for the UEFA Under-19 European Championships since 2006.
On that occasion, a team containing future Scotland internationals Graham Dorrans and Lee Wallace reached the final, where only a Spain side including such talents as Juan Mata and Gerard Pique prevented a famous victory.
Meanwhile, Scotland under-17s will also take on their Portuguese counterparts in the Elite Round of qualification for the UEFA Under-17 European Championship, which will take place in the Republic of Ireland next summer.
Brian McLaughlin’s team has also been drawn against Russia and Poland as they look to return to the finals for the first time since 2017.
Scotland will be the hosts for the Elite Round fixtures, with matches to be played from 20-26 March 2019.
2019-20 Qualifying Round Draw
The two Scotland sides also learned of their respective opponents for next year’s UEFA Qualifying Round, which will act as the first step on the road to the 2020 UEFA Under-19 and Under-17 European Championships.
Scotland will host the group fixtures in both competitions, with the venues for each fixture to be confirmed in due course.
Scotland under-17s will face Croatia, Iceland and Armenia in their Qualifying Round group, with matches to take place from 22-28 October 2019.
Meanwhile, Germany, Belarus and Andorra lie in store for Scotland under-19s, with fixtures to be played from 9-15 October 2019.