Euro 2008 – Group C

Every tournament has a Group Of Death, thanks in no small part to the occasionally bizarre seeding system that FIFA and UEFA still use for determining who will end up in which seeding pot, but UEFA have really outdone themselves for Euro 2008, contriving to put Italy, Holland and France in the same group. The Italians and the French, of course, played out the last World Cup final and were also drawn together in the qualifying stages for this very competition (they must be sick of the sight of each other by now), whilst the Dutch don’t seem to be of quite the same vintage as they were in previous competitions, but are still plenty capable of upsetting the apple cart. Feeling somewhat hard done by at all the attention being lavished upon the other three are Romania. It might be stretching things a little bit to expect them seriously challenge in a group in which two of the competitors have to be eliminated, but they’re ranked twelfth in the world by FIFA, and a surprise wouldn’t be completely beyond them. For those of you that don’t believe me, consider what Greece did to the Spanish four years ago or, indeed, what the Czechs did to the Italians at Euro 96. Anyway, let me take off my Grim Reaper outfit, and we’ll have a look at what’s what. Italy...

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