The Euro 2012 draw gave hosts Poland the best group they could get, with a rather Eastern European Group A consisting of Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and Greece. Group B is the mandatory “group of death”, with Germany (probably the best in the world today), receiving huge rivals the Netherlands, Denmark (Euro 1992 final) and Portugal, who they beat in the 2008 Euro Semi Final.
World and European Champions Spain will get their big match, facing Italy, who they knocked out in the 2008 Euro quarter finals. Ireland and Croatia will try and surprise by grabbing one of the top two spots. In Group D, Ukraine will find it very hard to qualify, with England, France and Sweden drawn with them.
The calculation of the seedings was done by taking into account the achievements in the qualifying stage for the 2012 Euro (40%), the qualifying and the 2010 World Cup (40%) and 20% from the 2008 Euro and its qualifiers. The top 4 nations were Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Due to Poland and Ukraine considered #1 teams (hosts), the group of death, or a few of them, like four years ago, came to be.
Conspiracy? Probably just luck. Poland were the lowest ranked coefficient in the seedings, but got a decent draw with no “Big” teams, with Russia probably favorites to finish on top of the group. Greece and the Czech Republic have a good chance of qualifying as well, in a wide open group.
1 – Poland
2 – Greece
3 – Russia
4 – Czech Republic
Poland vs Greece, June 8, Warsaw
Russia vs Czech Republic, June 8, Wroclaw
Greece vs Czech Repblic, June 12, Wroclaw
Poland vs Russia, June 12, Warsaw
Czech Republic vs Poland, June 16, Wroclaw
Greece vs Russia, June 16, Warsaw
Simply and popularly put, the Group of death. Netherlands vs Germany will be the biggest match of the entire group stage. Portugal will meet Denmark in another group stage, like in their last two qualifying campaigns, and will hope to show they deserve to be considered a major European force. Denmark will try not to lose all three matches.
1 – Netherlands
2 – Denmark
3 – Germany
4 – Portugal
Netherlands vs Denmark, June 9, Kharkiv
Germany vs Portugal, June 9, Lviv
Denmark vs Portugal, June 13, Lviv
Netherlands vs Germany, June 13, Kharkiv
Portugal vs Netherlands, June 17, Kharkiv
Denmark vs Germany, June 17, Lviv
Spain got a decent draw, with Italy, despite the name and history, clearly an inferior side. Still, it’s a great battle of style to watch, while Croatia and Ireland hope that Italy’s World Cup form will repeat itself.
1 – Spain
2 – Italy
3 – Ireland
4 – Croatia
Spain vs Italy, June 10, Gdansk
Ireland vs Croatia, June 10, Poznan
Italy vs Croatia, June 14, Poznan
Spain vs Ireland, June 14, Gdansk
Croatia vs Spain, June 18, Gdansk
Italy vs Ireland, June 18, Poznan
Ukraine weren’t as lucky as Poland with the draw, handed three teams that two of them are clearly favorites to qualify (England and France) while Sweden are also probably a better side. England and France will provide the clash fireworks and probably the biggest potential of a big team not making the top 2.
1 – Ukraine
2 – Sweden
3 – France
4 – England
France vs England, June 11, Donetsk
Ukraine vs Sweden, June 11, Kiev
Sweden vs England, June 15, Kiev
Ukraine vs France, June 15, Donetsk
England vs Ukraine, June 19, Donetsk
Sweden vs France, June 19, Kiev