Euro 2012 draw: Who awaits?

Fri, Dec 2, 2011, 00:00

The 12 countries who the Republic of Ireland can draw today...


Odds to win Euro 2012: 40-1

Fifa world ranking: 55

Manager:Oleg Blokhin

Qualified: Co-hosts

Chances?It’s Andriy Shevchenko’s dream to finish off his career by leading Ukraine to Euro 2012 glory. If he signs off playing like he did for AC Milan, you never know. But if he rediscovers his Chelsea form . . . Goodnight Irene.

If we meet them:It’ll be a first.


Odds to win Euro 2012: 33-1

Fifa world ranking: 8

Manager: Slaven Bilic

Qualified: Group F runners-up, beat Turkey 3-0 on aggregate in play-off.

Chances?Well, only five teams are ranked above them in Europe, so if all five have off days and Luka Modric does his thing . . . put your euro on them now.

If we meet them:Well, we drew 0-0 with them last August, Slaven Bilic taking his players to see The Pogues as part of their preparations. Trapattoni’s still trying to figure that one out.


Odds to win Euro 2012: 66-1

Fifa world ranking: 66

Manager: Franciszek Smuda

Qualified: Co-hosts

Chances?They’re ranked below Libya and just above Mali, so even on home turf you’d have to have your doubts.

If we meet them:We’ve already played them 25 times and only won five – not the happiest of records. Mind you, our supporters’ ticket-acquiring capacity will probably mean they’ll feel like the away team.


Odds to win Euro 2012: 3-1

Fifa world ranking:3

Manager: Joachim Loew

Qualified: Group A winners

Chances?Can you ever rule the Germans out, as they say?

If we meet them:We’ll be sick of the sight of each other by 2014, seeing as they’re also in our World Cup qualifying group. There’s a fair chance they’ll mark Robbie Keane tightly in the dying minutes of the game.


Odds to win Euro 2012: 66-1

Fifa world ranking: 14

Manager: Fernando Santos

Qualified: Group F winners

Chances?Well, did you give them a chance in 2004? Us neither. 2012? Us neither.

If we meet them:They’ll probably dub it the Bail-Out Derby – there’ll be no end to debt-related puns.


Odds to win Euro 2012: 12-1

Fifa world ranking: 9

Manager: Cesare Prandelli.

Qualified: Group C winners

Chances?Cripes, it’s Italy. Of course they have a chance. Mind you, the bookies aren’t convinced, even if they went through their group unbeaten, conceding just the two goals in 10 games.

If we meet them:It’ll be a test for Trapattoni – which national anthem will he sing?


Odds to win Euro 2012: 11-1

Fifa world ranking: 5

Manager: Fabio Capello

Qualified: Group G winners

Chances?Nothing less than victory will do – their media, that is. Or, at the very least, a moral victory, losing in the final to a ‘goal’ that didn’t cross the line, but was deemed to have done so by a linesman called Wolfgang.

If we meet them: Shouldn’t be a problem, they’ve yet to beat us in all of our two tournament meetings. And the last time they beat us outside of a major finals, Ray Wilkins was in midfield and Gary Lineker up front.


Odds to win Euro 2012: 5-2

Fifa world ranking:1

Manager:Vicente Del Bosque

Qualified:Group I winners

Chances?As reigning World and European champions you’d have to say rather good, but then again, the only way is down.

If we meet them: Ahead of Ireland’s Euro 88 meeting with the Dutch, a reporter likened Marco van Basten’s movement to that of a ballet dancer.

“But you can’t pirouette on a limp, Marco,” Mick McCarthy allegedly replied. You know, we may need a similarly robust approach if we play the Spanish.


Odds to win Euro 2012:25-1

Fifa world ranking:12

Manager: Dick Advocaat

Qualified:Group B winners

Chances?If they play like did in Dublin, maybe 25-1 isn’t a bad shout.

If we meet them:No worries. They’ll take one look at Richard Dunne, remember Moscow and shrivel.


Odds to win Euro 2012:7-1

Fifa world ranking: 2

Manager:Bert van Marwijk

Qualified: Group E winners

Chances?They’ll either go one better than the 2010 World Cup, or they’ll all fall out before a ball is kicked and crash and burn. It’s all or nothing with the Dutch.

If we meet them:Granted, we’ve met since then, but beating them in Euro 2012 might just make up for that poxy Vim Kieft goal in Euro 88.


Odds to win Euro 2012:18-1

Fifa world ranking:7

Manager:Paulo Bento

Qualified:Second in Group H, beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-2 on aggregate in play-off.

Chances?If Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani can stay on their feet long enough to test the opposing defences, you’d have to imagine they’ll be half a danger. But it’s a big if.

If we meet them:Shay Given would appreciate if his colleagues didn’t give away too many free-kicks at the edge of the box.


Odds to win Euro 2012: 66-1

Fifa world ranking: 18

Manager: Erik Hamren

Qualified:Best placed runners-up, second-up in Group E

Chances?It could depend on which Zlatan Ibrahimovic turns up, there are two versions of the fella, after all: one of them making Peter Crouch seem Romario-like, the other making Romario seem Peter Crouch-like.

If we meet them:We’ll hope Peter Crouch turns up, not Romario.