Seven of this summer's eight UEFA European Under-21 Championship finalists are among the ten top seeds in the qualifying draw for the competition's 2013–15 edition.
Of the countries heading to Israel to play for the trophy in June, only Norway are absent from Pot A, which contains the highest-ranking seeds, in the 52-team draw to take place on 31 January in Nyon, Switzerland, streamed live on UEFA.com.
Tor Ole Skullerud's side find themselves in Pot C, so will face either one of their seven fellow finalists in qualifying – in the shape of Spain, England, Israel, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia – or one from Switzerland, France and Sweden who also make it into Pot A based on coefficient rankings. France may well hope to avoid the Norwegians after their dramatic 5-4 play-off defeat in October which sealed the Scandinavians' place in the finals.
Belarus, Denmark and Ukraine, all of whom appeared in the final tournament in 2011, are placed in Pot B, while Iceland, also present in Denmark two years ago, are in Pot D.
The 52 teams have been split into five pots – with the lowest-ranking sides allocated to Pot E – and will be drawn into ten qualifying groups, two of six teams and eight of five. Each pool will contain one side apiece from the five seeding pots, except Groups 1 and 2 which will feature two teams from Pot E.
Group stage matches can get under way from 22 March, as the contestants bid to join hosts the Czech Republic in the finals in June 2015. The ten group winners and the four best runners-up will advance to the play-offs to determine the seven sides destined for the showpiece event.
Qualifying round draw seedings
Pot A: Spain, England, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, France, Sweden, Israel
Pot B: Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Scotland, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Belarus, Wales
Pot C: Greece, Slovakia, Belgium, Hungary, Armenia, Croatia, Norway, Montenegro, Finland, Slovenia
Pot D: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Georgia, Iceland, Moldova, Republic of Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Latvia
Pot E: Northern Ireland, Albania, Faroe Islands, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Malta, Luxembourg, Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino
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