England are in the second group of seeds for the Euro 2012 finals draw, UEFA confirmed today.
Fabio Capello's men are alongside Euro 2008 runners-up Germany, 2006 world champions Italy and Russia in the second pot.
Reigning world and European champions Spain are in the top group of seeds, alongside 2010 World Cup finalists Holland plus co-hosts Poland and Ukraine, who have already been allocated to groups A and D respectively.
The Republic of Ireland, whose qualification for the finals was confirmed last night, are in the fourth group of seeds alongside Denmark, the Czech Republic and France. That means they cannot face the French, who knocked them out in a controversial World Cup qualification play-off two years ago.
The draw for the finals will be made in Kiev on December 2.
The worst case scenario for Capello's men would be a group containing Spain, Portugal and France.
As well as that potential 'Group of Death' , there is also the possibility of a 'Group of Debt' made up of ailing Eurozone members Spain, Italy, Greece and the Republic.
A more palatable group for Capello's team might be to be drawn against Poland - with England having already confirmed they will be based in Krakow - Greece and the Czechs.
The pots have been decided on the countries' UEFA coefficient rankings, except for the co-hosts.
Seedings for Euro 2012:
Pot 1: Spain, Holland, Poland*, Ukraine*.
Pot 2: Germany, Italy, England, Russia.
Pot 3: Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Sweden.
Pot 4: Denmark, France, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland
* Poland already allocated to Group A, Ukraine already allocated to Group D.