The draw for this summer’s competition was conducted on Monday: Video
Before the event, the two hosts got to pick one country for their location. The choice was given to facilitate better ticket sales, which of course is still slightly up in the air at this point with more than three months to go until tipoff. France did pick nearby Belgium, which had the added effect of setting a major part of the bracket as the other top seed Serbia was then fixed into Spain’s other group. Assuming that those top seeds win those groups, the potential late round matchups between them would be clear. Spain opted to go in a different direction, possibly identifying Slovakia as the perceived weakest team and choosing them as their group mate.
With those aspects of the draw already chosen, the rest of the teams were drawn into the vacant places. Spain also faces Sweden and Belarus in a group that should not provide them much challenge. Serbia has Italy, neighbors Montenegro, and Greece in their group. In France, Belgium’s group includes Slovenia, Turkey, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The hosts drew Russia, the Czech Republic, and Croatia. After the three game round-robin, the bottom team in each group will be eliminated while the winner gets a bye to the quarterfinals. The first knockout round and the quarterfinals will also be played in Valencia and Strasbourg so teams from groups A and B and teams from groups C and D will play each other in those stages. The quarterfinal teams in France will have two days off to travel to Spain for their last games and that will be when teams will cross over to play the teams from the other location.