We take a look at the fourteen teams which join hosts Poland and Ukraine in the final phase of the UEFA EURO 2012 in June/July next year. We present the draw, the dates upon which the games are played and the FIFA ranking of each team. Finally, we produce a prediction as to who will be the champion.
Football pundits have to put their mouths where they put their keyboards and so I produce a prognosis based upon my analysis and the current ranking of each team, for the last eight.
A Poland Greece Russia Czech Republic
B Netherlands Denmark Germany Portugal
C Spain Italy Rep. Ireland Croatia
D Ukraine Sweden France England
Group A Poland Greece Russia Czech Republic
June 8 Poland v. Greece Russia v. Czech Republic
June 12 Greece v. Czech Republic Poland v. Russia
June 16 Greece v. Russia Czech Republic v. Poland
Group B Netherlands Denmark Germany Portugal
June 9 Netherlands v. Denmark Germany v. Portugal
June 13 Denmark v. Portugal Netherlands v. Germany
June 17 Portugal v. Netherlands Denmark v. Germany
Group C Spain Italy Rep. Ireland Croatia
June 10 Spain v. Italy Rep. Ireland v. Croatia
June 14 Italy v. Croatia Spain v. Rep. Ireland
June 18 Croatia v. Spain Italy v. Rep. Ireland
Group D Ukraine Sweden France England
June 11 France v. England Ukraine v. Sweden
June 15 Ukraine v. France Sweden v. England
June 19 Sweden v. France England v. Ukraine
A Poland (66) Greece (14) Russia (12) Czech Republic (33)
B Netherlands (2) Denmark (11) Germany (3) Portugal (7)
C Spain (1) Italy (9) Rep. Ireland (21) Croatia (8)
D Ukraine (55) Sweden (18) France (15) England (5)
By the book, the last eight would be:
Russia, Greece; Netherlands, Germany; Spain, Croatia; England, France
Group A: Russia, yes, Greece no. Greece collapses at international events and I would go for the home factor, Poland and Russia.
Group B: Portugal is too unpredictable to be written off and Paulo Bento has an excellent group of players. Depending on who is available, I would go for Portugal and Germany in this group.
Group C: Spain yes, joined by Italy, whose experience and whose discipline and training among home-grown players will make the difference.
Group D: Ukraine and England