England among top seeds for Euro 2016

The Three Lions have been kept among Europe's elite for the tournament hosted by France, meaning they will avoid potentially difficult group games against Spain and Germany
England have been selected as one of the top seeds for the Euro 2016 qualification stage.

The Three Lions were not in the first pot of seeds for World Cup 2014 but benefit from Uefa's coefficient ranking system rather than Fifa's world ranking list, meaning they will avoid the likes of Spain and Germany.

Alongside England are Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, Russia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, while France, as hosts will also be seeded.

The qualification process sees eight groups of six nations and one group of five competing for a spot in 24-team tournament.

It means England will be drawn into one of the nine groups and separated from the other eight seeds as they aim to qualify for the summer tournament in two years' time.

The hosts, meanwhile, have been told that they will participate in the qualifying for Euro 2016 - an unprecedented situation that will see Les Bleus drawn into the qualification groups.

However, Uefa have confirmed that France retain their automatic qualification right, meaning their 'qualification' matches are treated as friendlies with no points awarded - also ensuring the other nine seeds avoid each other.

The draw takes place on February 23 in Nice.