Kosovo prepare to welcome England for “biggest ever” match

England’s visit to Kosovo in the Euro 2020 qualifiers will be “the biggest event in the history of football” in the Balkan republic, their coach Bernard Challandes said after Sunday’s draw.

The Three Lions enjoyed a kind route to the World Cup’s last four in Russia in the summer and their luck held in Dublin where they were given a relatively easy path to the next European Championship.

England’s success in the Nations League this autumn has given them the safety net of a guaranteed playoff spot but they will have to play very badly to need it after being drawn with the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Kosovo.

Ranked fifth in the world by FIFA, England have played a total of 16 games against those teams, winning eight and drawing the rest, and the Czechs are the next best-ranked team at 42nd.

England has never played Kosovo, though, as UEFA’s newest member association has only been an independent nation since 2008.

“When England come to Pristina it will be the biggest event in the history of football in Kosovo,” said Challandes.

“It’s not only about football, but it’s also for the pride of the country.