Israel can reach Euro 2016 finals, says Gutman

February 24, 2014
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Eli Guttman believes that qualification for the Euro 2016 finals is up for grabs.

Israel have been drawn with Bosnia-Hercegovina, Belgium, Wales, Cyprus and Andorra in Group B.

With eight more finals places available than before, Gutman is "happy" with the draw and hopeful Israel can qualify for a major tournament for the first time since the 1970 World Cup.

Gutman said: "We will be one of the big contenders of this group. I was smiling and satisfied at one stage, but then we got Belgium; I was very happy until they came on to the scene.

"It will be a very tight and equal competition; we will have to be at our best and more besides. We are going to fight over this and there will be no easy games.

"We will go for it in this campaign, and given we didn't end up in a group with Portugal, I'm fine. We don't have Germany, Italy or the Netherlands; they're all one level above us.

"The most important thing is that our guys use all the strength they have with the country behind them."

Wales boss Chris Coleman believes the group is "wide open". He said: "Bosnia and Belgium are two strong teams, there are no mugs in the group and there will be no easy games."

And Belgium's Marc Wilmots insisted the draw "could have been much worse for us".

The Euro 2016 finals are being hosted by France, who qualify automatically, and will be made up of 24 nations, an increase from 16 in the current format.

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Israel fixtures:

The full fixture list:

Israel vs Belgium 9.9.14

Cyprus vs Israel 10.10.14

Andorra vs Israel 13.10.14

Israel vs Bosnia 16.11.14

Israel vs Wales 28.3.15

Bosnia vs Israel 12.6.15

Israel vs Andorra 3.9.15

Wales vs Israel 6.9.15

Israel vs Cyprus 10.10.15

Belgium vs Israel 13.10.15

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Euro 2016 qualifying groups:

Group A: Netherlands, Czech Republic, Turkey, Latvia, Iceland, Kazakhstan

Group B: Bosnia-Hercegovina, Belgium, Israel, Wales, Cyprus, Andorra

Group C: Spain, Ukraine, Slovakia, Belarus, FYR Macedonia, Luxembourg

Group D: Germany, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Georgia, Gibraltar

Group E: England, Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, San Marino

Group F: Greece, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Northern Ireland, Faroe Islands

Group G: Russia, Sweden, Austria, Montenegro, Moldova, Liechtenstein

Group H: Italy, Croatia, Norway, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Malta

Group I: Portugal, Denmark, Serbia, Armenia, Albania

Last updated: 2:25pm, February 24 2014