|European Championships Trophy|
The Republic of Ireland will learn its Euro 2012 fate tomorrow as the group-stage draw takes place at the Palace of Arts in Kyiv, Ukraine. Below is a run down of the seedings.
Pot 1: Poland (A1)*, Spain, Netherlands, Ukraine (D1)*
Pot 2: Germany, Italy, England, Russia
Pot 3: Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Sweden
Pot 4: Denmark, France, Czech Republic, Rep. of Ireland
At this stage of the competition, there are no easy draws. Those of you who consider Poland or Ukraine as an easy draw are mistaken; as Trapattoni noted, pointing to his experience against South Korea in World Cup 2002, home teams tend to have a slight edge.
If you don’t believe him you need only look to the precedent of Spain 1964, Italy 1968 and France 1984.
Then of course there’s the precedent of Uruguay 1930, Italy 1934, England 1966, West Germany 1974, Argentina 1978, and France 1998 all of whom won the World Cup trophy in their own backyard.
It would be interesting if Ireland drew Germany and/or Sweden, as a precursor to the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, but either of those teams would be very tough. Or even England à la Stuttgart 1988. Regardless of who we draw, we will face a stern test. But even so, I’ll fire ahead and posit my perfect draw.
From Pot 1, I’d like Poland, thank you. If we can avoid Germany in Pot 2 and Portugal in Pot 3, I am confident we can beat or at least draw with any of the remaining teams.
*Poland will be seeded in Group A and Ukraine will be seeded in Group D.