After a perfect qualifying it was time to announce the fate of England and the other 23 teams in this summer’s Euros in France.
It is the first time ever that so many teams have been in the competition as it is usually only 16 teams. This means some teams are competing for the first time ever so it will certainly make it one to remember.
It is also particularly significant as 4 of the 5 home nations (unlucky Scotland) are competiting in it. Wales had a great qualifying campaign and with the likes of superstar Bale and Ramsey as well as having a solid team they will be feared. The Republic of Ireland got through the play offs and they have got a strong team without any stand out players. Northern Ireland perhaps surprised many people by qualifying but they did have an easier group especially compared to Scotland.
So looking at the groups France got a very favourable draw and they should qualify in group A along with Switzerland who finished behind England in qualifying. No offence to Romania and Albania!
Group B includes England who will be pleased with their group and it will be great to see the match against Wales. I think that the two home nations should qualify as Russia and Slovakia don’t have as much quality.
In Group C Germany and Poland should be favourites to go through with home nation Northern Ireland having an unlucky draw and Ukraine should be their best chance to get anything.
Group D is perhaps the best with Spain the favourites and then a fight for second with Croatia, Czech Republic and Turkey – all of which are good teams.
Group E is also very strong and could be said to be the group of death. World number 1 in ranking Belgium are the favourites along with Italy but Sweden with Ibrahimovic and the Republic of Ireland are no pushovers.
And finally Group F which is perhaps the weakest along with Group A as it has Portugal, who are arguably the worst out of the best teams even with Ronaldo and they are joined by Iceland, Austria and Hungary who will all battle for second. I think Iceland will do it and this means that there will be weaker teams that go through to the knockout stages.
So the draw is done and now each country must wait until June. Can this be England’s year? As we always say – we can do it!