Roy Hodgson knows England have a "good chance" of drawing local foe at Euro 2016

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Roy Hodgson is relaxed about the possibility of England facing one of their neighbours at Euro 2016.

The draw for the group stages of the European Championship finals will be made on Saturday in Paris - and Hodgson knows there is a "good chance" his side will be pitted against a familiar local foe.

England have a 50 per cent chance of being drawn against either Wales, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland as the trio are all in pot four, which contains six nations.

All three could present England with a tough task next summer, but Hodgson was calm about the idea of coming up against one of them when the subject was raised following the friendly win over France last month.

"I will take what comes," the England manager said.

"I respect all the teams. I respect Wales and the Ireland teams. There is a good chance we will get one of those because three of them are in the same pot together.

"It is not something that pleases or displeases me. It is just a fact of life and whatever teams we get we will do our best to beat them."

England's last meeting with the Republic of Ireland was the forgettable 0-0 draw in Dublin six months ago.

The last time they met Northern Ireland, England suffered a humbling 1-0 defeat thanks to David Healy's winner. Wales have proved to be easier opposition of late, with England beating them four times in a row.

But Chris Coleman's men now have the world's most expensive player in their ranks in Gareth Bale and they received worthy praise for the way they qualified from their group to reach their first major tournament since 1958.

Other dangerous nations lie in wait too, of course. Even though England are among the top seeds following their perfect qualifying campaign, they could be drawn against Italy, who are in pot two.

The worst possible scenario would see England pitted against the Italians - who beat them in the last two tournaments - Sweden and either Wales or the Republic.

If all goes well, then England could be handed a group containing Ukraine, Hungary and Albania.

Switzerland might prove as welcome an opponent from pot two as Ukraine given that Hodgson's team comfortably defeated them twice in qualifying.

The expansion of the tournament means a third-place finish in the group could be good enough to see England through to the knockout stages, but Hodgson will want England to make a statement by finishing top.

Once the draw is made the former Liverpool manager and his staff will start putting together plans for the build-up to the tournament.

England already have friendlies against Holland and Germany planned for March and Hodgson wants up to four more matches arranged before the tournament begins in June.

The possibility of taking England on the road prior to Euro 2016 has been discussed within the Football Association.

Hodgson is in favour of the plans. It is understood that Old Trafford, Villa Park and the Sunderland's Stadium of Light have been mentioned as possible venues.

Hodgson will be hoping to have a full squad to choose from by the time the build-up for the tournament begins.

The 64-year-old was without 16 squad regulars for the victory over France, which came four days after England lost 2-0 to reigning European champions Spain.


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