World Cup 2014: Now England are (officially) out, what can we expect from their rivals in Euro 2016 qualifying?

Roy Hodgson can begin to turn his attention to the Euro 2016 qualifiers, which begin in September, and we look ahead at what we can expect from their opponents

Another tournament, another disappointment for England. The signs were encouraging, but ultimately, Roy Hodgson's men failed to make the sort of impact that was required of them.

They may have showed a certain determination and hunger in the 2-1 defeat to Italy, and the team were rightly commended for their brave performance. But there are only so many positives that can be taken from a defeat.

And when it really mattered, the team didn't perform. A draw against Uruguay would have been sufficient for them to qualify, needing a victory over Costa Rica in the final game based on other results. However, Luis Suarez's brace sent Hodgson's men crashing out of the tournament, confirming they had lost their first two games of the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

After their final game against Costa Rica on Tuesday, England will begin to look ahead to the next tournament and move ahead with a squad filled with promising players. The likes of Luke Shaw, Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling will unquestionably play a bigger part in helping England qualify for Euro 2016.

But who stands in their way?

Here, we take a look at the teams who will be looking to finish ahead of England in qualifying.

Switzerland
World ranking: 6
Key player: Xherdan Shaqiri

Ottmar Hitzfield's men pose the biggest threat to England's hopes of automatic qualification from their group in Euro 2016. The Swiss are a side England know well, having faced them in the qualifying stage for Euro 2012. They lost 3-1 and drew 2-2, but they have made a significant improvement in the past two years. With the likes of Granit Xhaka, Haris Seferovic and Ricardo Rodriguez, as well as key man Xherdan Shaqiri of Bayern Munich, Switzerland have an excellent core of promising young players emerging, and are certainly capable of taking points off England when they meet on September 8.

Slovenia
World ranking: 25
Key player: Tim Matavz

A World Cup opponent in 2010, Slovenia made life difficult for Fabio Capello's men then when they drew 1-1, and now 25th in the world rankings, they could cause an upset in Group E should England fail to impress under Roy Hodgson. With prolific striker Tim Matavz up front, and flamboyant playmaker Josip Ilicic of Fiorentina there to create chances for him, it will up to England's defence to stop the supply. They face England in November at Wembley, before the return leg at home in June 2015. Slovenia have lost all three of their last internationals, however, so it is unlikely they will stop the rot any time soon.

Lithuania
World ranking: 106
Key player: Marius Stankevicius

One of the lower-ranked sides in the European qualifying, Lithuania have won just two of their last 11 international games - winning 2-0 over Liechtenstein and Latvia respectively. But both games were at home, and they suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Albania in World Cup qualifying. With their only standout player captain Marius Stankevicius - the former Lazio and Sampdoria defender now at Gaiziantepspor - they lack a genuine threat to England and Switzerland in qualifying for Euro 2016 and England will be expected to win both games comfortably.

Estonia
World ranking: 98
Key player: Ragnar Klavan

For a side ranked so low in the FIFA rankings, Estonia did exceptionally well to finish above the likes of the Republic of Ireland, Serbia and Slovenia in the Euro 2012 qualifying. However, a more difficult World Cup qualifying group saw them finish with just seven points, and only above minnows Andorra. But don't be fooled by their fall of grace; this Estonia side kept Ireland at bay before and when organised by captain Ragnar Klavan, a seasoned international with 95 caps, they can easily steal a vital point at home in Tallinn.

San Marino
World ranking: 207
Key player: Andy Selva

Joint-last in the FIFA rankings, San Marino have only ever won once - a 1-0 victory over Lietchtenstein in 2004. The goalscorer, Andy Selva, is their top scorer in their history with just eight goals in 65 caps. The part-timers faced England in the World Cup qualifying groups, with England scoring 13 goals in the two games, and a similar beating would be expected when the two teams meet again.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece