Sunday, December 11, 2016

Euro 2016 draw set notable matches in the group stage

December 12, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, UEFA 2016 Euro

UEFA Euro 2016 draw took place today in Paris and we will have a few great games to watch starting from June 10th, 2016. 

Here are the groups and a few comments from team’s managers:

Group A: France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland

Didier Deschamps, France manager: “A lot of things can happen during the draw. We know our three opponents because we have played them recently but out of the three teams we don’t know the Romanian team that well. They performed very well during the qualification stage with the best defence and just two goals scored against them. It is the most important match for us.

We have to be careful (in this group) and not be over confident. Switzerland have a lot of international experience and Albania showed they deserve to be here.”

Group B: England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia

Roy Hodgson, England manager: “Chris [Coleman] and Wales have done so well. Whatever team we got from Pot 4 it would have been tough, so we might as well play someone close to home. Russia and Slovakia will be interesting. I have not come across either of those two teams in my international management before. There will be plenty of research between now and June and we can find out as much as we can before the campaign. Wales are very well organised, have a team spirit and very strong spine, with Ashley Williams, Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) and Gareth Bale (Real Madrid); top class European players”.

Chris Coleman, Wales manager: “We’ve got them [England] and it’s going to a great game between two good teams. To win ten games like they did in the qualifying campaign is a fantastic return. England are one of the best teams, but we’re looking forward to it. When you get to a tournament, it’s that 90 minutes and you’ve got to get it right. Sometimes you have an off-day and it doesn’t matter who you play, so you just have to concentrate on yourselves. Slovakia had some great results and Russia are also going to be strong, they’re going to be prepared and they’re going to be ready – so we have to make sure we are in the same way”.

Group C:  Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland

Joachim Löw, Germany manager: “We will concentrate from the very first game. Poland are a great side but Ukraine and Northern Ireland can be unpleasant to play with their counters and good defending. We are the favourites and want to win the group”.

Group D: Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia

Vicente del Bosque, Spain manager: “We’ve drawn two teams who played in the same group as the Netherlands and eliminated them – Turkey and the Czech Republic. Then we have to face Croatia, who are very strong and who, for me, are among the strongest teams at this tournament. They have excellent players. It will be very difficult for us. We will go there with the aim of winning the EURO for the third consecutive time. It would be fantastic for Spanish football. No one has ever achieved this. However, we know we will have to face extraordinarily tough opponents”.

Group E: Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden

Marc Wilmots, Belgium manager: “This obviously is a tough draw. A group of death? Now those do not exist, it’s a tough draw, nothing more. Ireland we should be able to beat, Sweden we also can beat, I think the first match against Italy will be the toughest. But the first two progress in the group and Belgium and Italy are the favorites”.

Antonio Conte, Italy manager: “I think Belgium are an excellent team, and are among the favorites for the final stages. They have a young team, and a lot of top players in their ranks. Then I see pretty equal teams with Sweden, us and Ireland. I think Belgium are among the favorites. We know all the strengths of Zlatan. And Ireland are certainly a team who play with a lot of emotion, and who are strong with their team spirit and great intensity. So we have to be careful”.

Martin O’Neill, Republic of Ireland manager: “It couldn’t get tougher. Italy, who should be in Pot 1, the top-ranked side in the world Belgium, plus Sweden. It is something to look forward to for the fans but it couldn’t be tougher. Sweden in the first game is something to look forward to, let’s go for it and leave nothing behind. Now we know who we are up against, we can study players individually. It is a bit of a maze but we’ll get down to plotting something and hope these plans stay with us”.

Group F: Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary

Fernando Santos, Portugal manager: “I don’t believe in easy groups, nor in difficult groups. What I do believe in is work. Iceland is a team that as improved a lot during the last few years. They qualified directly from their group, eliminating the Netherlands in the process, which says a lot about their potential.

Austria is also a team that has been improving lately and has great players, like David Alaba, Christian Fuchs and Marko Arnautović. They finished their group on a high and we will have to be careful with them. Hungary is probably the opponent we know the least about because we have not faced them for a long time”.

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