Believe it or not, (just believe it because it’s true) Euro 2016 is a mere 6 months away. The 24 teams that are headed to France in June have been determined. All that remains is the draw which will happen on Saturday.
But I can take care of that right now. I did a draw for Euro 2016 using the most unscientific method possible. I used the Euro draw simulator that can be found right here. So without further adieu, here’s how the draw turned out.
France, Austria, Czech Republic, Albania
A favourable draw for the hosts. Les Bleus will be formidable as they will have an excellent side and (if you believe this sort of thing) they have history in their favour. The last two international tournaments that were held in France were won by the French. (1984 Euro, 1998 World Cup) Austria are a team on the rise. The Czechs are inconsistent and Albania will be happy to be there. Austria vs Czech Republic has some political history that may be revisited.
Portugal, Russia, Hungary, Wales
This is a tricky group. Portugal would be favoured largely due to the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo. However, Russia have a rising star in striker Artyom Dzyuba. Wales have the breathtaking Gareth Bale. Hungary are a small surprise to qualify. Russia vs Hungary might be fun. There’s some political history between the two nations that is somewhat unpleasant.
Belgium, Ukraine, Poland, Ireland
Favourable for Belgium. Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard give the Red Devils plenty of quality. Ukraine are solid but have a tendency to falter on the big stage. Poland will rely on super striker Robert Lewandowski. Ireland are game but lack quality. Ukraine vs Poland has a shade of political history as well.
Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland
Any group the Germans are in, they’ll be favoured. The defending World Cup title holders will be expected to go a long way at Euro. The Swiss are decent but nothing special. Sweden do have Zlatan Ibrahimovic who can terrify defenders. Iceland are minnows. Germany vs Sweden could be fun. Germany vs Switzerland has a little political history to boot.
Spain, Croatia, Romania, Turkey
Easy group for Spain. The defending Euro title holders should breeze through this group. Croatia are an unknown in that no one knows whether it will be a good or poor Croatia that will show up. Romania have a chance to finish second. Turkey are a sleeper. Spain vs Turkey would have been nasty during the Ottoman Empire days.
England, Italy, Slovakia, Northern Ireland
If I’m Italy, I’d be happy if this draw were to happen. The Azure usually have positive results against England (see 2012 Euro and 2014 World Cup) and are itching to bounce back after a poor showing in Brazil. England should get through, but don’t expect them to hoist the trophy. Slovakia are tricky. Northern Ireland performed very well in qualifying. England vs Italy will be hyped but England vs Northern Ireland could be hotly contested. If Northern Ireland wins, they separate from the United Kingdom. Everyone would watch if they put that provision in.
Remember this was a MOCK draw. If this turns out to be the real draw, send me to Las Vegas pronto!
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