Euro draw sees England face France
ENGLAND will take on France, Sweden and Ukraine in their bid for Euro 2012 glory.
Fabio Capello’s men discovered their fate at last night’s draw in Kiev ahead of next year’s finals in Poland and Ukraine.
Ireland will play world and European champions Spain along with Croatia and Italy.
Capello’s side will begin their campaign against rivals France, whom they have not beaten in five meetings, in Donetsk on June 11. That match is a repeat of their open- ing match at Euro 2004.
England have chosen to base their training camp in the Polish city of Krakow but all their group games will now be played in Ukraine, meaning journeys of up to 1 500km.
Ireland, appearing in the championships for the first time since 1988, will open against Croatia in Poznan on June 10.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s men will travel to Gdansk to face Spain on June 14 and return to Poznan to play Italy four days later.
The other co-hosts Poland were drawn alongside Euro 2004 winners Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic in Group A.
Group B will comprise three past champions in Holland, Denmark and Germany as well as 2004 runners-up Portugal.
Former England captain Paul Ince was pleased with the draw.
“Overall we have to be delighted,” he told the BBC.
“It is a fantastic group for us. When you look at the groups we have had, in qualifi- cation and in the World Cup, the gods have been smiling down on us and they have certainly done it again tonight.
“If we can’t get ourselves through that group we have only got ourselves to blame.
“On paper we should win all those games but the French are always tough, Ukraine at home will have loads of fans behind them – the atmosphere will be crazy.
“On paper it looks easy but I am sure Capello will not take anything for granted.” – Daily Mail