The much awaited Euro 2012 kicks off in June and the excitement is building up amongst football fans all over the world. The reason for such excitement is justified as Europe’s powerhouses are getting ready to face off against each other for the coveted ‘Champions of Europe’ tag.There are 4 groups, each consisting of 4 teams. Each team will play once against every other team in their respective groups. 3 points shall be awarded for a win, 1 for a draw and none for a loss. At the end of the group stages, the top two teams in each group will qualify for the Quarter Finals.Here are the groups:
Group A - Group of the dark horses
Group A will have extremely interesting matches and also it would also be interesting to see which two teams will book a berth in the quarters as all of them are equally matched. While Poland don’t have the big names, they have home advantage, which is a force known to down big teams. Greece are comparable to Poland in terms of manpower but can certainly not be written off after their 2004 Euro winning campaign. Greece have an experienced group of players who have dealt with the pressures of competing in mammoth tournaments like the Euro and the World Cup previously.
Russia is most likely to top this group on points purely due to the availability of a huge pool of talent. The likes of Andriy Arshavin and Roman Pavluchenko, along with their experienced manager Dick Advocaat, can prove to be a lethal combination for their competitors. Czech Republic are bereft of some star players during this campaign. Despite that, they have a solid defence led by Chelsea‘s Petr Cech.
Group B - Mother of all groups
When you look at this group, a feeling of OMFG engulfs your mind and it should. Here’s why:
Three of the top five officially ranked teams in the world will battle it out in this group. It is only easy to predict which team will finish bottom of the group but not much can be said with confidence about who’ll qualify. All we know is, the quarter finals will be devoid of one of three teams – Germany, Netherlands, Portugal.
Another point to be made is that the finalists and the semi finalists from the World Cup along with a team that has Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani will compete in this group. I’m sure a lot of people would be willing to pay money just to watch these matches on their TVs.
Group C – Spain’s group
Republic of Ireland
The defending champions Spain will be looking to stuff their fast-filling trophy cabinet with another triumph while Italy will be looking to get past the group stages this time around. Republic of Ireland will face a daunting task ahead of them as all three teams in their group appear to be significantly stronger on paper. If they are able to extract all the juice from their squad, they may as well present themselves with a chance of securing victories over the Croats and the Italians. Croatia have a well balance squad with the likes of Luka Modric,Ivica Olic and Eduardo in attack. They are certainly in contention for a place in the quarters.
Group D – The group of uncertainty
The name of this group has been chosen as such due to the footballing history of the nations involved. While the two strongest teams appear to be France and England, the other two teams are no less probable to qualify. France has had disciplinary issues for a while now and seemed to lack conviction during their dismal World Cup campaign, something they’ll be hoping to put behind them and start afresh.
England’s newly appointed manager, Roy Hodgson, hasn’t had enough time to work with his team and understand their strengths and weaknesses, the latter being probably greater in number, with all due respect. Ukraine, like Poland, have home advantage despite not having depth in their squad. It will be fascinating to see how this group plays out.
Enthralling, absorbing, engrossing, gripping are a few words which come close to describing the proceedings which will take place at the Euro 2012. May the best team win.
Published with permission from GOALPOST.