England and Ireland learn Euro 2012 fate
England avoided two potentially difficult groups in the European Championships 2012 draw at the Palace of Arts in Kyiv but the Republic of Ireland face a trying opening stage.
Fabio Capello's men drew Ukraine, one of the host countries, Sweden and France in Group D of the tournament. England recently defeated Sweden 1-0 in a friendly at Wembley, but have a difficult record with France at European Championships. In 2004, England were beaten by two late goals from Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane in the group game. England's campaign begins against France in Donetsk on June 11th 2012.
Reigning champions Spain were pitted against the Republic of Ireland, Croatia and Italy in Group C. Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland side face a difficult challenge to progress from a tough group. The group also holds significance for Trapattoni, as he draws his native Italy.
The award for most challenging group went to Group B, which saw the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Denmark drawn with each other. Any of those four sides could progress and the 'Group of Death' moniker will accompany Group B throughout the tournament.
Other hosts Poland kick start the competition and they were drawn in Group A alongside a slightly Eastern European flavour of Russia, Greece and the Czech Republic. The Poles take on the Euro 2004 winners Greece in Gdansk on June 8th.
Check out the Euro 2012 odds and get some tips on the European Championships betting.