Euro draw sees Eng­land face France

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

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

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