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Euro 2012 – Team-by-Team Preview and Schedule

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Update: Groups Draw details and the official match ball of Euro 2012 added. Scroll down to view.

With the 16 teams competing in Euro 2012 now selected and the qualifying process complete, all eyes look to Poland and Ukraine as time ticks down. The seeding for the selection of the group stages has been completed also, with the draw for the pool stages happening in Kiev on December 3rd. English and Irish fans will look for a favourable draw, but both nations will know that the competition is packed with top teams.


Pot 1

Pot 1 consists of co-host Poland and Ukraine, world champions Spain and a technically gifted Netherlands side; most participants will be keen to draw the hosts rather than the other two powerhouses.

SPAIN

Spain National Football Team badge Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleSpain’s mantle as the top team in the world has been slightly diminished of late, as poor results in friendlies against Spain and Costa Rica have tarnished the end of 2011 for La Roja. Vicente Del Bosque has a plethora of players to choose from however, with a strong base from Barcelona and Real Madrid making up the majority of the team.

The Spaniards midfield is still as menacing as ever, with Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso world class players that opponents will struggle to compete against; however Xavi is still Spain’s main man and will orchestrate long periods of possession for the world champions.

NETHERLANDS

Royal Netherlands Football Association Logo Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleHolland impressed during the qualifying rounds, and again must go into the tournament as one of the favourites. Bert van Marwijk’s men, similar to Spain, have had an under-par end to the year however, as the Oranje lost their last qualifying game to Sweden and were put to the sword by Germany in a recent friendly, losing 3-0.

Despite this the squad is full of talent and a number of young players are battling the established names for a place in the starting XI. Although their defence at times can be questioned, their attack cannot.

Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder will look to provide chances for red hot striker Robin van Persie. The Arsenal man is proving himself to be one of the top hitmen in Europe, and will look to fire his nation to glory.

POLAND

Polish Football Association logo Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleOn of the downfalls of hosting a major tournament is the fact that you do not get to take part in qualification, and Polish fans will hope that Franciszek Smuda’s men do not suffer due to a lack of competitive fixtures. Solid performances in friendlies over the last 12 months have seen the host draw with Germany and beat the likes of Belarus and Hungary; the home crowd will also play a key part in their chances.

Borussia Dortmund attacker Robert Lewandowski was a key figure in the German club’s Bundesliga success last season, and will be counted on to get goals for the Eastern European side.

Poland are co-hosts.

UKRAINE

Logo of Football Federation of Ukraine Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleUkraine have had inconsistent form over the last year, and with the glory days of Sergei Rebrov and Andriy Shevchenko over, Oleg Blokhin has had to look to the youth in his side.

Dynamo Kiev forward Andriy Yarmolenko holds the weight of expectation on his shoulders, as the 22-year-old has shown the necessary promise to fill the boots of the generation before him.

Ukraine are co-hosts.


Pot 2

England find themselves in the second tier of the seeding, alongside old enemy and highly-fancied Germany; 2006 World Cup winners Italy and an unpredictable Russia team make up this quartet.

ENGLAND

England crest 2009 Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleEngland have been inconsistent over the qualifying rounds, and despite showing their quality at times can also lack creativity and the ability to break teams down. Fabio Capello will be buoyed on by an unbeaten qualifying campaign and friendly victories over Spain and Sweden, but will look for more from his team if they are to pose as realistic challengers.

Wayne Rooney’s absence in the pool stages will be a real blow for The Three Lions, and the Italian coach will be under pressure to find a replacement that can fire the side into the knockout rounds. Scott Parker has really matured over the last 12-18 months, and the Tottenham man could showcase the determination and will to win to inspire his team-mates; a North London central midfield partnership alongside Jack Wilshere could just prove the balance England needs.

GERMANY

DFBEagle Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleGermany, as always when a major tournament rolls round, must be considered as serious contenders.

Joachim Low has comprised a squad with an enviable mix of experience and youth, and a flawless qualifying campaign proves testament to the side’s motivation to succeed.

The German side is packed full of quality, but playmakers Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze in particular have vital attributes in creating chances for sharpshooter Mario Gomez.

ITALY

FIGC logo Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleItaly traditionally have blown hot and cold when it comes to international tournaments, and the Azzurri this time round have shown inconsistency and a lack of a real killer instinct in the qualifying rounds.

Cesare Prandelli has a football mad nation keen to recapture the glory days, and a wide ranging player base to choose from – however the side in blue will most likely adopt cautious tactics and look to win fixtures by the odd goal.

Mario Balotelli looks to have been given a real chance to start up front in the absence of Giuseppe Rossi and Antonio Cassano, and may lead the line alongside Juventus’ Alessandro Matri.

However the key man for Italy will be at the back, where Giorgio Chiellini will look to emulate great Italian central defenders of the past, and organise a stubborn rearguard upon which the midfield and attack can build upon.

RUSSIA

rnft Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleDick Advocaat’s Russian side will fancy their chances of upsetting some of the bigger names, as the proximity of the tournament favours the Eastern European side. A solitary defeat in qualification has shown that Russia are an emerging superpower in the game, and they undoubtedly harbour a number of excellent players.

Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko are struggling currently at their North London clubs; the experienced duo will need to find their form to inspire a talented but not yet proven team.


Pot 3

The third pot is made up of four seasoned and competitive nations, as Portugal, Sweden, Croatia and Greece lie in wait. The likes of Zlatan Ibrahmovic and Cristiano Ronaldo are first rate players in supposed third rate teams, but none of the participants in this pot will be pushovers.

PORTUGAL

Portugal FPF crest Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and SchedulePortugal were beaten to the top of Group H by Denmark, but the Iberian nation powered past Bosnia and Herzegovina in the playoffs to book their place at Europe’s top table. Coach Paulo Bento has ruffled some feathers since taking charge of the team, with veteran duo Ricardo Carvalho and Jose Bosingwa retiring from international football after falling out with the former midfielder.

Despite the absence of the experienced pair, Portugal still have an abundance of quality, with the likes of Nani and Joao Moutinho sure to terrorise opposition defences. Their key man is obviously Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, and if the 26-year-old  can replicate the form and goalscoring ability he shows for his club on the international stage, Portugal will take some beating.

SWEDEN

Sweden national football team logo Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleThe Swedes have a technically gifted and balanced side, made from a mix of players playing in their homeland and the top European leagues. Erik Hamren’s side qualified as a top runner up in qualification, and had they not had Netherlands in their group may well have topped a pool.

Temperamental but clearly gifted Zlatan Ibrahimovic hold the nation’s destiny in his hands.

Although Ibra was ineffective in the recent game against England at Wembley, his club record tells a completely different story. It will be a long-shot, still, to believe that he can single-handedly take his nation all the way through the competition.

GREECE

Greece National Football Team Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and Schedule
The Euro 2004 champions look to have recovered form and showcased some excellent football in an unbeaten qualification process.

Fernando Santos’ squad still has some remnants from the triumphant side from seven years ago, which is complemented by exuberant youngsters breaking into the international fray.

PAOK striker Dimitris Salpingidis has learnt from some of the senior goal-getters in recent Greek history, and has the ability to cause opposition defences a headache.

CROATIA

Croatia football federation Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleSlaven Bilic’s men made the finals by comprehensively beating Turkey 3-0 in the playoffs, and should not be written off. The Croats follow Luka Modric’s direction, and the Tottenham playmaker has the ability to hurt any side in the world, whilst Bayern Munich attacker Ivica Olic will be keen to add to his tally of 15 international goals.

Modric’s club teammate Niko Kranjcar and Bolton Wanderers’ Ivan Klasnic will also be available for selection. Both of them last played for the national team in October against Latvia.


Pot 4

Finally, Republic of Ireland find themselves in the lowest tier of seeding for the tournament, but will have expected this. Giovanni Trapattoni’s men are bunched alongside an under-performing France, dark horses Czech Republic and Denmark.

FRANCE

Le nouveau logo FFF Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleFrance have not shown enough quality to make it into the top pots, and the French public will not be happy as being deemed as a fourth-tier side. A late goal against Bosnia and Herzegovina ensured Les Bleus automatic progression to the tournament, but their form in qualification was nothing to write home about.

Laurent Blanc is widely seen as the man to spark a renaissance, and the coach undoubtedly has talented players to call upon. Experienced international heads such as Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema will harbour most of the responsibility for leading their nation’s dreams – but look out for Sochaux playmaker Marvin Martin.

The starlet has rose to fame over the last 12 months, and his craft and guile has prompted many in the game to compare him to Zinedine Zidane; it could be Martin’s time to announce himself to the world game.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

Ireland Football Team Badge Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleThe Emerald Isle will be competing in the European championships for the first time since 1988, and a wave of expectancy has washed over the country since a 5-1 aggregate victory over Estonia ensured Ireland’s place at the finals.

Giovanni Trapattoni still relies on old heads Richard Dunne, Shay Given and Robbie Keane, but faith should be put in some of the younger players such as Aidan McGeady to compete at the highest level.

DENMARK

Danish football crest Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleThe Danes qualified for the tournament by topping Group H ahead of Portugal, and Morten Olsen’s men will go into the competition full of confidence.

If the Scandinavians can get off to a good start they will be a match for most, and in Christian Eriksen they have one of the brightest prospects in the world game. The Ajax midfielder will look to impress to force a transfer to one of Europe’s biggest clubs, and has the energy and guile to win a game for Denmark.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Czech Republic FA Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and ScheduleIt is fair to say that the Czech Republic are not the force that once saw them challenge for international tournaments in the 2000′s, but Michael Bilek’s men will still provide a tricky test to their opponents next year.

Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky captains the side and is a talisman for the nation, but the Czechs are going through a transitional period as a number of the under-21 players make the step up to the seniors.

However, still the elders of the team, like Milan Baros, carry the hopes of their nation.

So there you have it; although there is a lot of football to be played before Euro 2012 starts in earnest, most of the major players in the continent will have one eye on the finals. With the groups being drawn in the forthcoming weeks excitement over the tournament should build, as there are many nations that could realistically experience glory next year.

Groups

Group A: Poland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic.
Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal.
Group C: Spain, Italy, Ireland, Croatia.
Group D: Ukraine, Sweden, France, England.

Euro 2012 Schedule

Match schedule
All kick-offs CET, Ukrainian time is one hour ahead

Friday 8 June 2012
#1: POL v GRE, 18.00CET, Warsaw
#2: RUS v CZE, 20.45CET, Wroclaw

Saturday 9 June 2012
#3: NED v DEN, 18.00CET, Kharkiv
#4: GER v POR, 20.45CET, Lviv

Sunday 10 June 2012
#5: ESP v ITA, 18.00CET, Gdansk
#6: IRL v CRO, 20.45CET, Poznan

Monday 11 June 2012
#7: FRA v ENG, 18.00CET, Donetsk
#8: UKR v SWE, 20.45CET, Kyiv

Tuesday 12 June 2012
#9: GRE v CZE, 18.00CET, Wroclaw
#10: POL v RUS, 20.45CET, Warsaw

Wednesday 13 June 2012
#11: DEN v POR, 18.00CET, Lviv
#12: NED v GER, 20.45CET, Kharkiv

Thursday 14 June 2012
#13: ITA v CRO, 18.00CET, Poznan
#14: ESP v IRL, 20.45CET, Gdansk

Friday 15 June 2012
#15: SWE v ENG, 20.45CET, Kyiv
#16: UKR v FRA, 18.00CET, Donetsk

Saturday 16 June 2012
#17: CZE v POL, 20.45CET, Wroclaw
#18: GRE v RUS, 20.45CET, Warsaw

Sunday 17 June 2012
#19: POR v NED, 20.45CET, Kharkiv
#20: DEN v GER, 20.45CET, Lviv

Monday 18 June 2012
#21: CRO v ESP, 20.45CET, Gdansk
#22: ITA v IRL, 20.45CET, Poznan

Tuesday 19 June 2012
#23: ENG v UKR, 20.45CET, Donetsk
#24: SWE v FRA, 20.45CET, Kyiv

Wednesday 20 June 2012
No matches

Thursday 21 June 2012
#25: 1A v 2B, 20.45CET, Warsaw

Friday 22 June 2012
#26: 1B v 2A, 20.45CET, Gdansk

Saturday 23 June 2012
#27: 1C v 2D, 20.45CET, Donetsk

Sunday 24 June 2012
#28: 1D v 2C, 20.45CET, Kyiv

Monday 25 June 2012
No matches

Tuesday 26 June 2012
No matches

Wednesday 27 June 2012
#29: W#25 v W#27, 20.45CET, Donetsk

Thursday 28 June 2012
#30: W#26 v W#28, 20.45CET, Warsaw

Friday 29 June 2012
No matches

Saturday 30 June 2012
No matches

Sunday 1 July 2012
#31: W#29 v W#30, 20.45CET, Kyiv

Official Match Ball

In 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the adidas Jabulani caused a few problems for goalkeepers and out-field players because of its unique flight and all the new technical advancements. Adidas have now revealed the official Euro 2012 match ball and called it the adidas Tango 12.

Hoping that it will be more human than it’s predecessor, Tango 12 has been inspired by the famous line of adidas Tango balls. Here’s what the ball will look like:

adidas tango 12 sl 120311 Euro 2012   Team by Team Preview and Schedule


Also see: Euro 2012 News | Euro 2012 Statistics | Euro 2012 Fixtures | Euro 2012 Football Gear.

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Comments (7)

  1. Hello.

    This is great and thanks.

  2. For Spain, you mean results against England and Costa Rica. Anyway, add to that losses in friendlies to Italy, Argentina and Portugal and you can see a pattern – Spain don’t turn up to friendlies. For other teams it’s a massive game, to look to beat the world’s best, but Spain couldn’t care less, and their governing body is pocketing oodles from them trotting around the world for money-spinning friendlies. They won every competitive fixture in their qualifying group, and there has been an emergence of Alvaro Arbeloa, Santi Cazorla, Juan Mata, David Silva, Javi Martinez, Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Negredo, all fringe players in 2010, but quality players now, who can slot in when required. They’ll probably win.

  3. But otherwise, a very good summary of the teams. Well researched and good insight.

  4. italy went undefeated in the qualifying rounds and only gave up 2 goals while scoring 20…i wouldnt consider that inconsistent.

  5. spain-germany-italy will be competing for that trophy. these three will get stronger as the tournament ensues.

  6. Exactly, and with regards to the usual ‘only winning by an odd goal’ cliche which ignorant people love to use, Italy scored more goals in the qualifiers than England

  7. I just hope that Germany will come out with a good outcome this tournament. Such a young team with great players. Mesut Ozil!