Germany, Netherlands drawn together into Group of Death for Euro 2012

GermanyDutch (Reuters Pictures)

With co-hosts Poland and Ukraine placed in the first pot of the Euro 2012 draw, there was bound to be at least one brutally-tough group in next summer's tournament.

Group B gets the distinction as being the Group of Death, as the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Denmark will vie for two spots in the knockout round. All four are ranked among the top 11 teams in the world, and even though Denmark won its qualifying group, which included Portugal, the Danes are considered the underdog to make it out of the treacherous group.

Group C isn't much easier, with defending champion Spain being drawn with Italy, Croatia and Robbie Keane's Republic of Ireland. The group gives Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni the opportunity to go against his native Italy.

As for England, the Three Lions dodged being in the toughest group but still have to go up against host Ukraine, France and a Sweden side that it hasn't beaten in seven competitive meetings all-time (0-2-5).

Here are the four groups for Euro 2012:


GROUP A – Poland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic

GROUP B – Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal

GROUP C – Spain, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Croatia

GROUP D – Ukraine, Sweden, France, England


What do you think of the draw? Which teams do you see advancing from Group B? How do you think the other groups will play out?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Euro 2012. Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Germany, Netherlands drawn together into Group of Death for Euro 2012

  1. Gnarls says:

    Sky Sports reports 66/1 odds on Ireland winning the thing.

    So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance!

  2. AC says:

    Wow, after all the work Denmark put in to get to Euro 2012. Now they are in the Group of Death.

  3. Adam says:

    Sweden wanted England. Let’s see how they do against them now.

  4. Detroit! says:

    I’ll predict:
    A: Russia and Poland
    B: Germany and Portugal
    C: Spain and Ireland (sentimental choice)
    D: Sweden and England

    Absolutely no idea who wins it all…

  5. soccerhorn says:

    Wow, groups A & D are cakewalks compared to groups B and C. Ireland, love them, but what a minefield – can’t see them advancing. England might have the easiest draw of them all – famous last words!

  6. tony says:

    My prediction

    1. Russia & Czech Republic

    2. Germany & Denmark

    3. Spain & Italy

    4. Sweden & Ukraine

  7. kev says:

    My prediction for winner is Germany but i’m backing Spain. My dark horses are Denmark/Sweden. I see Croatia, Ukraine and England flopping. I see Poland impressing.

  8. Khan says:

    Poland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic? Yeah I’m not buying that at all. Russia randomly gets to host the World Cup in 2018 and now they’re drawn into what has to be the easiest Euro qualifying group I can ever remember seeing? No.

    I’m calling bollocks on this draw.

  9. kev says:

    1) Russia, Poland
    2) Germany, Netherlands
    3) Spain, Ireland
    4) France, Sweden

    top scorers

    Klose, Villa, Ibrahimovic, Van Huntelaar, Gomez

  10. kev says:

    dare you say this is corrupt?

  11. kev says:

    IF THE USA qualified for Euro 2012, where do you think we would be grouped and what would be our chances? I’d say our quality is equivalent to that of a Poland/Greece in that we’d qualify but probably not make the knockout rounds. what u guys think?

  12. soccerhorn says:

    Russia bought the 2018 WC. Despite all the blather to the contrary, that’s how it works. Nothing random about it. Not sure if they can rig the ping pong balls though. But agreed, it is a woefully week group. And rumor has it (not that there’s ever any rumor being spread in European Soccer) that by next summer, Greece won’t be able to pay their players. Highly motivating.

  13. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    No way portugal are making it out of that group. Im actually really happy Germany is in that group as its going to test their mettle immediately. I do believe they have what it takes to win this but they sometimes play down against big opponents they could whoop (see Spain). Either way, i cannot wait. Especially as the Netherlands and Germany are a hugely underrated rivalry this day in age.

  14. Khan says:

    You are much more direct about it than I am. After all, they are just “allegations.”

  15. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Looking forward to seeing England implode on another big stage. Hopefully Fabio Capello is already hard at work adopting AVB’s defensive scheme, Robert Green’s goalkeeping workout, and Steven Gerrard’s fitness regimen.

  16. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    It would be diffcult, but not impossible, for the US to reach the knockout rounds. Al depends on the draw. Then again, the US had a favorable draw in WC2010 that could have seen them in the Semifinals, except they played like garbage for 95% of the tournament and went home earlier than they could/should have.

  17. Khan says:


    1.) Irrationally benching your best players.
    2.) Winning the World Cup but then dropping your controller.
    3.) Dancing to Phil Collins?

    +10 points to whoever gets the reference in number 3.

  18. Alex says:

    Hahaha, that made me chuckle pretty heartily. Thank you for that

  19. Stephen says:

    They didn’t play like garbage for 95% of the tourney. They didn’t play their best, but they also got screwed several times forcing them to play their best players longer in order to just make the knock out stages….where they pretty much play like garbage.

    I think the US has shown that on a good day, they can beat anybody and on a bad day just about anybody can beat them.

  20. Alex says:

    You think Huntelaar is going to score more than Van Persie?

  21. Alex says:

    My Dark Horse candidate that everyone seems to forget about is Italy. That had a horrible WC with players far too old to be there, but lately they have looked like a good squad, with a good coach, who is definitely looking for some redemption. And this is coming from someone who hates Italy. (’06 WC, Never Forget!)

  22. RLW2020 says:

    as much as I love our team, i doubt they would qualify! can’t see them taking a spot from Russia, Ireland, Croatia or Greece with out a miracle goal or two.

    Then again with a shallow team like US, if key player were all healthy we could suprise some teams. Lets hope that we get re-invited to the Copa America sometime soon!

  23. kev says:

    Community. NBC 8pm/7pm Central

    You guys need to be watching. It’s the best sitcom on air. Modern Family and TBBT are AWESOME but Community is Divine

  24. kev says:

    Yes. Huntelaar has a greater scoring record than Van Persie and is excellent as a super-sub as well.

  25. ISAF says:

    Czech Republic will flop big time. They qualify for tournaments but they don’t really seem to SHINE outside of 1 game.

  26. RLW2020 says:

    Germany or Netherlands for the win. Playing out of the group of death should keep them sharp for the knock out rounds where they could face inferior opposition from Group A.

  27. nfnrjrejrjurnbdxnbnd ndss says:

    O/T but list the top 10 best special forces in the world?

  28. rlw2020 says:

    is this an ad? get out of here!

  29. Ted says:

    idk I think the only cakewalk here is for Spain. In A the relative strength of teams is pretty even, and in D England and France are two big teams who are susceptible

  30. Spectra says:

    I thought Ibrahimovic didn’t play for the national team anymore?

  31. Joamiq says:

    B and C are both nuts. Wow.

    I’ll go with:
    A: Czech Republic, Russia
    B: Netherlands, Germany
    C: Spain, Croatia
    D: France, Sweden

  32. AS says:

    No Portugal – The Dutch will make it and Sweden will barely miss out to France (who are loaded and flying under the radar). Even though you say the Irish are a sentimental favorite – I somehow see them getting through with Italy playing the same role they did in the last World Cup and Croatia playing spoiler but getting clipped by the hunker-down and counter-attacking Irish.

  33. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    You’re right, they didn’t play like garbage 95% of the time in South Africa. Out of 360+ total minutes played, the US advanced because of a Robert Green howler, and nice second half vs. Slovenia (after a first 45 minutes of garbage defending) and 90 minutes of garbage vs. Algeria punctuated by 3 minutes of S.T. brilliance. The tournament concluded with 120 minutes of garbage against Ghana in which they subbed a starter after 31 minutes because he played like garbage, and the US gave up the lead twice. So 48 quality minutes/360 total minutes = 12% quality and 88% garbage. There, math is fixed.

  34. strider says:

    Anyone else notice that Klose looks like a giant here next to the little boys from Holland? Meanwhile, Russia & Czech, Germany & Holland, Spain & Croatia, and Sweden & France are my picks. Who knows, maybe Hart will play like he does in the EPL and England will do well, but not betting on it.

  35. Elliot says:

    Switch Germany and Czech Republic and I think all the groups are pretty equal

  36. marco says:

    I like your group winners except I see England beating Sweden, and the Ukraine beating out France.

  37. nfnrjrejrjurnbdxnbnd ndss says:

    he does. Just he only seems to show up in the Euro tournaments.

  38. nfnrjrejrjurnbdxnbnd ndss says:

    Dark horses has to be Denmark and Sweden.

    If Denmark gets out of the Group of Death, I can assure you they will be in the final. Same with Sweden.

  39. torporindy says:

    Remember EASY


  40. Jeff says:

    It is always interesting to see these groups for Europe, I realize there are only 4 but the groups are so much tougher than the World Cup groups. If the U.S. had to face groups like this to advance in the later rounds of the WC, we would be in trouble…

  41. away goals says:

    Timmytwoshoezzz is a big hit at parties.

  42. Schmeeboo says:

    I’m a Denmark believer, also. All the games in B will be quality. Would be nice to see Russia make a long run too.

  43. away goals says:

    Phil collins is worth fighting over.

  44. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Who talks about soccer at parties?

  45. K Bone says:

    Ha, I’d wager a lot of people on this site talk/argue about soccer at parties, and I’m sure they are a blast to hang around with…

  46. K Bone says:

    Denmark does not have enough star players to progress from that group unfortunately, I cannot see them qualifying over Holland or Germany. I could see them doing better than Portugal though. I want United to buy Eriksen before the tournament though so he’s not 10 million pounds more after. And also, I think England will get to the next round as they pretty much always make it into the knockout stages of major tournaments (last Euro doesn’t count since they weren’t even in it). Of course I just remembered they won’t have Rooney for the first three games, so maybe they will choke a little earlier this time. I also think Italy has their act together as of late and will definitely qualify with Spain. Ireland really has no chance in my opinion. And it’s unfortunate that Group A forces any of those teams to make it to the next round…

  47. yeah says:

    Klose is in midair, chief.

  48. Khan says:


    Best story ever to come on of the English national team.

  49. tony says:

    Netherlands looks shaky in their defense now than before. They’re going through a transitional phase. They are my favorite team, but not convinced they can pull it off. Most likely, it would come down to goal differential.

    Denmark looks much better and unified as a team than Portugal does. If Portugal played team oriented football more often they would stand a chance of advancing.

  50. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    amazing what mediocrity you’ll accept happily when you wander through life wearing rose-colored glasses. I took mine off, and everyone’s so happy to crush you when you tell them how you see things. If you don’t call the display from the US garbage, what do you call it? Should the US draw with Slovenia on a regular basis, and escape thru a miracle goal against lowly Algeria? What’s the acceptable standard for US soccer on the world’s biggest stage?

  51. Scott A says:

    Good Lord Group B

  52. Span16 says:

    +1 for honesty and objectivity. You’ve been paying attention as well. Italy is playing very good and attractive soccer and won their group easily. unfortunately most of the American Anglophiles will never admit as much as it is easier to just hate blindly and pick schmuck teams like Ireland and Croatia

  53. away goals says:

    You realize there are degrees of quality between ‘late-seventies-dutch-swirl’ and ‘garbage’ right?

    A more rational assessment:

    England – As neutral as football gets. Certainly not a game of wild swings. We created one very good chance (altidore) and scored on dempsey’s less-than-half chance. England only created a few chances of their own.

    Slovenia – We were taken to task for 45 minutes. Probably the only span in the tournament we were truly poor. The second 45 we were dominant.

    Algeria – We were garbage for 89 minutes? Really? We created a half dozen sitters against a team that (disgracefully, given they still could have advanced with a win) showed no ambition to do anything but defend with 10. Yes our situation was dire, but the dramatic goal was hardly our only bright play of the game.

    Ghana – Ghana punished us for our one first half mistake. Once edu entered things were neutral till half. Benny’s entry tipped the scales back in our favor for the second half. Then ghana punished us again on our lone mistake in extra time.

    But hey, it’s easier to just say: We didn’t get as far as I wanted us to, so we were total garbage.

  54. broadsthooligans says:

    so strange

  55. michael says:

    makes it all the more impressive when greece won in 04 given 80/1 odds

  56. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Silly me, all this time I never realized the goal was to create sitters, not actually score them and put the game out of reach. I feel so much better now that I know the US wasn’t garbage, we just had 45 minutes of good soccer in us and did a whole bunch of ‘driving in neutral’ with the rest of the time. I guess we can call that outcome whatever you like

  57. away goals says:

    At a world cup, neutral is exactly what we are. When the field is narrowed to 32 teams, we aren’t elite. But we’re also not garbage. There’s a middle ground and it’s populated by us, ghana, mexico, and a host of other nations. All of whom can beat the elite or lose to a long shot depending on the day.

    You know who else didn’t “put games out of reach” in south africa? Almost everyone. Espana had a string of 1-0 victories, including chile in a knockout match where chile had a chance to take a late lead with a penalty kick. It’s the world cup. Crazy sh-t happens.

  58. away goals says:

    And by chile i mean paraguay.

  59. al17 says:

    You never count them out and like the 2006 World Cup they weren’t even considered. You think more people would have learned from history but…well we know that’s not the case.

    I like Italia

  60. Svenski says:

    It seems to me that the Dutch-German rivalry is quite a big thing in the Netherlands. Not sure about Germany though.

  61. Neal says:

    +1 on getting invited to the Copa again

  62. Rich says:

    Beat the Czech team on a corner kick after time expired. They probably had the fewest shots on goal of any champion in history. Only scoring they did was on set pieces.

  63. Baker says:

    I think people underestimate both Poland and Ukraine.

    We all know the kind of boost a team gets from being the host country. Take this into account and Group D starts looking pretty tough too.

    I say ([group winner], [runner up]):
    Russia, CR (barely over Poland)
    Germany, Ned
    Spain, Italy
    England, Ukraine

  64. Zoti says:

    I’d have love for Italy, Spain, Germany and Croatia to be in the same group and Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Czech Republic in another. Let the facists/nazis on one side and the commies in the other to fight among themselves :)

  65. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    It is the biggest rivalry. Ask any German. The English arent even on the map when it comes to this.

  66. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    for scorers youre not too off.
    Dont think Klose will stay fit long enough.
    God id love it if he did.
    Would also love to see Gomez finally produce on the national stage.

  67. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    definitely agree that if Germany beat the nederlands they will go on to win the tournie

  68. c'mon says:

    Oranje have given up 10 goals in their last 10, and only gave up 8 in their 10 qualifying matches.

  69. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    cmon man, you and I both know international friendlies dont mean anything. Not to mention Portugal do not have the history of doing that well in tournaments. Take a look at their qualifying games, not exactly them dancing through their opponents. Iceland scored 3 on them.

    I will be shocked if they beat out the dutch, who have a history of being dysfunctional but seem to be on a positive roll as of recent and the germans who won all of their qualifying games and have some of the best young players in the world