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England's tough draw in European men's and women's team event
England have been given a tough task to qualify for the Thomas and Uber Cup finals in Jakarta next May when they tackle the European men's and women's team championships in Almere, near Amsterdam, from February 12-17.
The men's team, seeded second behind Denmark, are likely to face seventh seeds Russia in the in the last eight if they advance - as is expected - from a Group B containing Lithuania and Finland.
In the semi-finals they could then face sixth seeds Holland or fourth seeds Poland while in the top half of the draw holders Denmark would expect to face third seeds Germany.
There are 30 teams competing in the men's event while 27 tackle the European women's team championships.
Second seeds England are also in Group B in the women's event and will face Sweden and Spain. But if, as expected, they emerge from the group stages they are likely to face the sixth seeds Netherlands, the hosts and holders, in the quarter-finals. Top seeds Germany, runners-up two years ago, have a bye in the quarter-finals if they come through Group A against Iceland, Wales and Italy.
Ties are played over the best of five matches - three men's singles and two level doubles.
The tournament referee is England's Keith Hawthorne.
European men's team championships:
Group A: Denmark, Israel and Scotland
Group B: England, Lithuania and Finland
Group C: Germany, Hungaary, Norway and Estonia
Group D: Poland, Belgium, Portugal and Bulgaria
Group E: France, Greece, Sweden and Italy
Group F: Netherlands, Slovakia, Ukraine and Ireland
Group G: Russia, Iceland, Turkey and Spain
Group H: Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria and Wales.
Winner of Group A v Winner of Group E
Winner of Group C v Winner of Group H
Winner of Group F v Winner of Group D
Winner of Group G v Winner of Group B
European women's team championships:
Group A: Germany, Iceland, Wales and Italy
Group B: England, Sweden and Spain
Group C: France, Austria, Switzerland and Ukraine
Group D: Russia, Belgium, Ireland and Finland
Group E: Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, Belarus
Group F: Netherlands, Turkey, Portugal and Poland
Group G: Bulgaria, Scotland, Lithuania and Slovakia.
Winner of Group A bye
Winner of Group D v Winner of Group E
Winner of Group B v Winner of Group C
Winner of Group F v Winner of Group B
Losing semi-finalists play off for the third Thomas and Uber Cup qualifying place