UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying Preview
This is my special preview about qualifying for the European championship 2012, which will be held in Poland and Ukraine.
There are a total of nine groups. Six of these groups have six teams, and the remaining three groups consist of five teams. At the conclusion of qualifying, the team at the top of each group will qualify automatically.
The second-placed team with the most points from games versus the first-, third-, fourth- and fifth-placed teams will qualify also. The remaining eight second-placed teams will contest two-legged playoffs for the right to join them.
The organization of the event was initially contested by five bids representing seven countries: Croatia-Hungary (joint bid), Poland-Ukraine (joint bid), Turkey, Greece, and Italy. On Nov. 8, 2005, UEFA's Executive Committee whittled the candidates down to a short list of three: Italy (11 votes), Croatia-Hungary (nine votes), and Poland-Ukraine (seven votes).
The hosts were chosen on April 18, 2007 in Cardiff, Wales. The results of the voting were: Poland-Ukraine (eight votes), Italy (0 votes), Croatia-Hungary ( 0 votes).
The Polish-Ukrainian hosting is seen as a way of shifting the focus towards central Europe and eastern Europe, whose population demonstrates a strong feeling for football but are less developed in terms of quality of the local leagues and football infrastructure when compared to western Europe.
Group A brings us Germany, the team that won third place in the last World Cup. They are clearly favorites of this group, and for them there should be no problem to qualify for the new EURO.
Germany has awesome young players that showed great football. The youngsters will do great things in the future.
Turkey is supposed to be in second place, but they might have some hard times against Austria and Belgium.
Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are going to try make some surprises in this group, but they are clearly not good enough for the rest of the teams in this group.
Republic of Ireland
Thanks to good results from qualifying for EURO 2008, Russia got the place in pot one before the draw for qualifying for EURO 2012. This draw brought them Slovakia and Republic of Ireland.
Russia should be very careful with Slovakia because they were really good in World Cup qualifying and managed to beat their neighbors, Czech Republic.
Also there is Republic of Ireland, who didn't manage to go to the World Cup because of Thierry Henry's hand during France's goal. I am pretty sure they have chances to get in this EURO.
Macedonia, Armenia, and Andorra will try to upset better teams in this group.
After one of the biggest disappointments in their football history after an embarrassing three games at the World Cup, Italy is going to try to get back where they belong.
Cesare Prandelli is their new coach, and with a new coach, new players are coming. Italy expects to qualify easily. We can expect young players that will bring success.
Serbia will try to upset the fallen Italians, but they also didn't have a good World Cup. They managed to beat Germany 1-0 and lost to Australia and Ghana. They were a dissapointment for sure.
Northern Ireland and Slovenia will try to take over second place and find their luck in the playoff.
Estonia and Faroe Islands are just going to be like a field trip, but we never should underestimate our opponents no matter what!
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Even worse than Italy, France managed to win only one point in the last World Cup, but that wasn't the main problem.
Players that were representing one of the biggest football nations in the world were just unbelievably unprofessional. There was a lot of fighting between them and with their coach, Raymond Domenech.
But they got a new coach, French football legend Laurent Blanc, and he is ready to clear this big mess in France's national team.
Romania and talented Bosnia and Herzegovina might present some danger for France. These two teams will probably fight for second place and try to get in EURO through the playoff.
Also Belarus, Albania, and Luxembourg will try to perform miracles and steal some points.
After having a great run of victories, Holland is ready to qualify for EURO. I am pretty sure they will have no problems in this group because they always do their job classily. Pure football, a lot of goals, a lot of action—yeah, that's Holland.
Sweden shouldn't have problems with ending up in second place that leads to the playoff. Also their best player Zlatan Ibrahimovic decided to go back to the team, and he is going to be a big help.
Finland and Hungary will try to mess up Sweden's plans while outsiders Moldova and San Marino can't find anything in this group.
Croatia got really lucky, and they should win this group easily, but if they are going to underestimate opponents, there will be big problems for them.
Croatia wasn't in World Cup 2010. I am Croatian, and our main problem was that we were in heaven after beating England two times in qualifiers for EURO 2008. After that we thought we belonged to the best national teams in the world. But that came against us. England destroyed us in qualifiers for World Cup, and we couldn't beat Ukraine (tied two times).
Now we learned our lesson, and we have a great chance to come back!
Greece had only three points in this last World Cup. That wasn't enough to advance to the knockout phase. Their football was really boring, and they didn't have many chances. They also got a new coach, but they really have to play their best if they want to win this group.
Israel has some chances to ruin our plans in this group, but I doubt it.
Latvia, Georgia, and Malta are outsiders in this group, and they will try to do some damage though.
England were amazing in qualifying for the World Cup. They destroyed and had awesome revenge against Croatia, but in the World Cup they failed to reach their expectations.
Great Italian coach Fabio Capello just didn't find the vibe with his players. Now he has a new chance to bring Three Lions where they belong. I think they should win this group easily.
Switzerland and Bulgaria will fight for second place. Bulgaria wasn't doing so good lately, and Switzerland has little advantage, but we never know in today's football.
Also we shouldn't write off Wales and Montenegro because they can be really dangerous. They can harm anybody, even England if they do their best.
This group is really interesting because there are a lot of equal teams.
This group seems interesting too, just like the previous one. Only five teams in the group means you can't lose important points or you're not going to EURO.
Portugal is a big favorite, but Denmark and Norway are going to be pretty tough tasks for Portugal.
Portugal wasn't lucky in the last World Cup. They were in the so-called "death group." But they were second after Brazil, like it was expected. But more bad luck happened when they had to play against the best national team today—Spain. But in this new cycle they need to qualify for EURO 2012.
They have one of the best players in the world—and I would even say the best—Cristiano Ronaldo, who isn't performing that good for his national team like he was playing for Manchester United or today for Real Madrid.
Cyprus and Iceland will try to do some surprises.
Something weird must happen to stop Spain from winning this group. They are the best national team in the world. There is no doubt in that. The question is who can stop them? Their football is really a joy to watch, and they shouldn't have problems in this group.
Czech Republic is the favorite for second place, but Scotland can mess their plans up if they do their best. Those two teams are for sure going to battle for second place.
Lithuania and Liechtenstein are complete outsiders, but like I said before, you never know.
That was about it, my football friends!
I hope you enjoyed my little preview of this European qualifying for EURO 2012, which will be held in Poland and Ukraine.
I would like to see your own opinions about this article and if you can say your favorites in each group!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME!