Tough ties await Trap’s troops in Euro 2012

The draw for Euro 2012 has been made and Irish football fans are looking forward to some tough encounters with European and World Cup champions Spain, Italy and Croatia. The Republic of Ireland’s most recent tournament experience was ended by a crushing penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of the Spaniards, whilst Ireland’s contest with Italy will mark the third encounter at tournament level between the two countries (Toto Schillaci and the legendary Ray Houghton scored the respective winning goals in the 1990 and 1994 matchups.) The Irish have met Croatia at group stage before but never in tournament finals.

England look to have dodged a bullet by avoiding the Spanish and Dutch groups and being drawn instead against France, joint hosts Ukraine and Sweden. 

The Boys in Green will face Croatia on Sunday 10th June, before meeting Spain on 14th June and the Italians on the 18th June.

The fact that England and Ireland were kept apart in the group stages will likely see the much speculated friendly encounter between the two sides being given the go-ahead, the first such meeting since 1995. As someone who was amongst the crowd for that ill-fated encounter, clearly it is to be hoped that events pan out in a different manner this time around (though I’d settle for the same scoreline…)

  • between the bridges

    tough group,wouldn’t worry about meeting eng-l-u-ng just yet, if the ROI get out of that fair play to them.

  • Republic of Connaught

    The first game will crucial. A win there against Croatia and perhaps a draw against Italy will be enough, depending on goal difference. What is certain knowing Trap is that it will be ugly, very ugly. I’d say Poland will be full of Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway accents this summer.

    England will probably lose to France but scratch through the group.They too will be ugly to watch, as ever.

  • ranger1640

    You don’t need to worry Chris, Paddy Power bookies will be running a big advertising champaign.
    Refund the losing dockets, of any fool who bet that the republic of Ireland team would get out of the qualifying group.

  • Dazzler

    Considering ireland got out of tough groups in every tournament we qualified for with the exception of euro 88 (very unlucky and there were only 8 teams in the tournament) I think we will have a good summer. One win and two draws are very possible. We’ve only lost one competitive game in four years. Enjoy your marching while the rest of us are having euro championship parties and barbecues.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Think the groups would’ve been tough anyway, it’s basically the 15 best sides in Europe according to UEFA co-efficient and Poland in for 16th Serbia. France were only 12th ranked.

    England have Ukraine in Ukraine a game they themselves lost so that’s not an easy tie, France who can go from brilliant to dyer in tournaments and Sweden usually disciplined, consistently a halfway house and like most Scandinavian countries diligent, disciplined and hard-working ’til the end.

  • USA

    What group are northern Ireland in again?

  • Harry Flashman

    “England have…Sweden,usually…diligent, disciplined and hard-working”

    I recall being in Tokyo during the 2002 World Cup. I was walking the streets of Roppongi (as one inevitably does) late the night of the Swedish draw against England. A big crowd of fans were standing on a wall singing and cheering loudly about the poor England performance.

    I mentioned to my mate that the Swedes, unusually for them, were up way past their bedtime and in remarkably fine voice.

    An Aussie voice behind me said

    “Mate, they aren’t Swedes, that’s the Irish”

    Plus ca change I think.