IF you thought the Nations League was convoluted and complex then just wait until you see the Euro 2020 qualifying draw.

Scotland manager Alex McLeish will find out who his men will face in next year’s campaign in the Convention Centre in Dublin today. But it could take quite some time. The whole process promises to be complicated.

There will, at the end of it all, be five groups of five teams (A to E) and five groups of six teams (F to J). The top two teams from each section will qualify.

The games will be played in five international breaks next year - on March 21 to 26, June 7 to 11, September 5 to 10, October 10 to 15 and November 14 to 19.

However, it will be a far from straightforward affair. Uefa will only allow two of the 12 host nations – Azerbaijan, Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Scotland and Spain will jointly stage the Euro 2020 finals – to be in a group together.

Then there are the political restrictions which will prevent Gibraltar and Spain, Bosnia and Kosovo, Kosovo and Serbia, Russia and Ukraine and Armenia and Azerbaijan being drawn in the same section.

On top of that, there are now travel and weather restrictions under new Uefa rules. Only two teams from Belarus, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Ukraine can be in the same group. Elsewhere, the Faroe Islands, Finland and Iceland will not be allowed to host qualifiers in March or November.

But Alan McRae, the SFA president who will attend the draw along with chief executive Ian Maxwell and McLeish, believes the system is preferable to the previous format when there was little if any control of the draw and officials and managers bartered with each other over match scheduling afterwards.

“They are trying to juggle everything," McRae said. "It is amazing what they can do. It has moved on since the old days that’s for sure. There are quite a few things to take into consideration; countries which have bad winters, things like that.

“It could be farcical at times. It has changed for the better. After the draw is completed it is handled by Uefa. The fixtures will be published in a couple of hours. It is all done by computer now."

McRae, the honorary president of Cove Rangers, was firmly behind McLeish being made Scotland manager for a second time in February when many supporters were, for a variety of reasons, opposed to the appointment.

He was pleased, then, when the national team beat Albania and Israel in their final two Nations League fixtures last month, topped Group C1, secured a Euro 2020 play-off place and eased the pressure on their manager.

McRae is hopeful the Aberdeen great can build on that success in the qualifying campaign and secure automatic qualification for the finals.

“I was delighted for him, the players and the fans,” he said. “But I was pleased for Alex in particular. He went to Peru and Mexico and had to try and get results there with a depleted squad. That was not of his doing. People said the tour was worthless. But one or two players went on that tour and broke through. There were positives.

“I am sure Alex will get confidence from the Nations League as well. The players will, but the manager and coaching staff will too.”

The Nations League games against Albania and Israel and friendlies against Russia 2018 semi-finalists Belgium and Euro 2016 winners Portugal at Hampden this season have attracted disappointing attendances. But McRae is optimistic the improved performances of the Scotland side and the success they enjoyed in their section will, coupled with an exciting draw, help to attract more fans back through the turnstiles in 2019.

“The supporters were in short supply in the last two games,” he said. “But that was understandable. Hopefully we can get a good Euro 2020 qualifying draw and start building some momentum. We have taken a little step forward. We would like to think we can have a good campaign in 2019 and finish runners-up.”