Euro 2016 draw and teams analysis
Euro 2016 – Group A
Against all predictions, Albania managed to ensure their participation in Euro 2016 draw. This is a major tournament for the first time in their history. Based on their appearances in Euro qualifying 2016 stage, they deserved the direct ticket to the final of EURO 2016. Consistency, good chemistry as a team and of course the title of a clear underdog played a key role on their way. They loaded with anxiety rival teams such as Denmark, Serbia. Their main advantages are that they are a tough team with passion, with many runs and overlaps. There is no player for the Balkans that could take the team on his shoulders.
The hostess, France will try to return to the top of European football. They have as ally the power of playing at home and the quality roster that is available. Been complete into midfield and solid defensively, the team of Didier Deschamps is undoubtedly one of the favorites to go far in the final stage of Euro 2016. They need to find the right chemistry in the attack. While we write this text, Olivier Giroud makes excellent performances with Arsenal’s shirt. With the facts so far it would be unfair to the molded attacker to be on the bench. The French coach will have to shuffle the deck and go to a formation with two strikers. He has several players who can keep the ball and feed with passes the attacking line.
They managed to ensure the participation in Euro easily as they remained unbeaten. They had trouble in the second half of the preliminary stage having several ups and downs in their performance. A typical example is the four consecutive draws, where they only scored one goal. That was the time when they actually lost the lead in the group. The great weapon of the Balkans is their good defensive function with several support from the midfield. On the other hand, They have a problem on the attacking part as no player can put the ball easily into the keeper’s nets. Simultaneously compared to past teams, there is lack of a big star (Hagi – Mutu). The second one is gathering chances to be included in the squad.
They are now a considerable force on the European scene. In the recent years, they have managed to create a highly competitive team, having appearances in the biggest football appointments. They may not have the absolute star, but there are players who have several experiences of the top leagues in Europe. Some of them stand out with their good performances. Shaqiri, Drmic and Lichtsteiner are the pillars for the “rossocrociati”. Switzerland will try to qualify for the first time in their history of the group stages. This goal is within to their capacities as the other groups, except the hostess (France), are not much better than them.
Euro 2016 – Group B
The excellent performances in the qualifying phase raise high expectations for the entire nation. This is the first time they show seriousness and stability. They passed Euro 2016 qualification easily. England gained 10 wins in 10 games. This is something that fills with expectations the English federation. Although it has not been clearly stated, the team has great possibilities to reach the top of European football. They remain the only traditional power that has failed to take the title and this summer may be a first class opportunity for that. The only question mark is the consecutive games that the key players play in the Premier League. Frequent injuries and also homogeneity are the two most important factors. National teams that have reached the highest rung at national level had as an advantage that selections of the respective coaches were from two clubs that starred in the domestic league.
Continuous coaching changes have a negative impact since the infrastructures exist. Unfortunately stability lacks mainly over the years for Russia. They are capable of the best but also the worst. Russia suffered a huge debacle during World Cup of 2014 in the stadiums of Brazil when they failed to continue in a quite passable group. They secured the ticket to the final phase for the fourth consecutive time without been particularly convincing with their appearances. In games against the two most powerful opponents they had big troubles. The talent exists but they have to try harder this time to make the extra step. The fact that they will host the World Cup 2018 could be the key to qualification at least to the next phase.
For the first time in their history as an independent country, Slovakia will participate in the final phase of Euro. They have already failed five times before. In recent years they have made significant progress. Highlight is their presence in the World Cup 2010 in the stadiums of N.Africa where they actually progressed from the group stages. Undoubtedly they cannot face longer-range teams. Based on some good players they have, they are able to do the damage to anyone underestimates them. The group is based primarily on technique but lacks alot in running, experience and power. Marek Hamsik is the key player that pulls the entire burden in Narodny.
Huge football personalities of the past, such as Ian Rush, Ryan Giggs and Mark Hughes, did not manage to achieve the feat that only two great players in the global scene did. Reference is made about Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey who took Wales by the hand. They led it for the first time in its history in the final stage of a major event. They was flanked by players who perform more than their actual capacity. Wales is a compact group with its main weapon to be the speed but also the great running. The last factor gives the opportunity to the “fire” duo to exploit every opportunity they can.
Euro 2016 – Group C
The World Champions will start in this competition, as the number one favorite to win the Euro 2016. They have the most complete roster than any other national team taking part in the tournament next summer. They have improved noticeably compared to previous competitions. Germany has class players but many of them are forced to be on the bench. This is a sample of the number of options available for Joachim Low. On the positive side for the “Panzer”, apart from anything else, is their homogeneity. Their basic starting lineup plays in Bayern Munich. The end of Bundesliga for one month provides valuable breaths and keeps players fresh.
For the first time in their history they will take part in the final phase of Euro, after 14 consecutive failed attempts. N.Ireland managed to ensure their participation with ease, finishing first in group F of the preliminary phase. They have as main weapons cohesion as a team and also the fighting spirit of all the players who play. The truth is that they are one of the weakest teams that will take part in the tournament next summer. They do not have players with great quality and technical training. They are based primarily on the excellent form of Kyle Lafferty. It will be too difficult for them to qualify to the next stage, but all these should be seen on the field since even nowadays football miracles can happen…
Significant progress in recent years on the European scene for Poland. They will be found for third consecutive time in a final phase in EURO and now they are called to prove that they have matured greatly. Coach Adam Nawalka has managed to create a highly competitive team. Poland is primarily based on its superstar Robert Lewandowski, one of the leading strikers currently on the planet. They have players with performances in the top leagues in Europe. The major disadvantage of Biale Orly is that they the lack of personalities. With limited exceptions all the burden falls, as expected, on Bayern Munich’s striker.
This is only their second participation in a final phase. The first one was in 2012 when they co-hosted Euro along with Poland. They managed to get the ticket via the barrage procedure, playing double games against Slovenia. The biggest weapon for Ukraine is their defense. They conceded only four goals in the preliminaries. This is the second best performance of the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying groups that will be found in the stadiums of France next summer. Fomenko’s team will have to change a number of things in its game if they want to hope to qualify to the next stage. They struggle to score easy goals despite having enough quality attacking midfielders.
Euro 2016 – Group D
For the fourth time (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012) in history they will participate in a final phase. This time they aim to make the extra step, since the talent exists for the team of Ante Cacic. They have players with performances in the top leagues in Europe and in the qualifying phase they showed quite stable. This is something that was missing in the previous years. It is a well made team with its midfielder line to be the big gun. Only few teams in the tournament have players with individual characteristics of Modric, Rakitic, Mandzukic and Kovacic. The biggest bet is whether the team can keep its homogeneity during the tournament. It is not that difficult for all the effort to be thrown in the air after the first negative result which might not be in the schedule.
Having one winning Euro back in 1976 as Czechoslovakia and 8 appearances in a final phase, Czech Republic have lost much of its old splendor. It has a compact and high-quality team, fact that was indisputably demonstrated in the qualifying phase. The team of Pavel Vrba managed to finish in the first place leaving behind teams like Netherlands. Next summer they will try to get the ticket for the knockout matches. The group they participate is far from looking prohibitive. In its ranks there are players who have experience in European leagues. Unfortunately, excluding Petr Cech none of the others is considered to play at top level.
The holder of the last two Euros and totally three times winner (1964, 2008, 2012) will seek to prove that they still remain one of the major forces in European football after the great failure in World Cup. They have an excellent squad with superiority in midfield. For example, players like Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla, have to stay on the bench many times. The only drawback, compared to the other lines, is the lack of an aggressive striker. Diego Costa cannot lift the full weight in the attacking line, mainly due to speed reasons and the way Iberians like to play. Along with Germany, they are the two big favorites based on roster, quality and experience to win the tournament.
With three (1996, 2000, 2008) participations in a EURO final phase, they will attempt to make the extra step this summer. The group of opponents is not prohibitive for Turkey. They managed to get the ticket as the third best team of all groups in the qualifying round. They have some prominent players on the European scene who can make the difference. Talent exists for Fatih Terim’s team. Under his guidance, the team was able to claim the Euro 2016 qualification to the next phase. The group of teams, apart from Spain, remains open to any prediction regarding the 2nd position.
Euro 2016 – Group E
Undoubtedly, the rising power in European football will try to confirm the high expectations with parchment the success in World Cup 2014. That time, they reached the quarterfinals and were eliminated by the subsequent finalist Argentina. They feature a roster of world-class players who play a key role in the jersey of the clubs they play for. Their big advantage is the fact that there are several alternatives coming from the bench. Hazard, De Bruyne, Kompany, Courtois and Lukaku is a sample of the quality of “Red Devils”. In addition, the only drawback so far are the many injuries afflicting the leader and pillar of the defense Vincent Kompany. He has played in few games this season with the shirt of Manchester City.
Although they have lost big part from the glamour of the past, they will try for a similar appearance to that in 2012. They reached the final that year. However, the successive failures to qualify from the group stage in the World Cup attest that they need new blood. After the imminent retirement of Andrea Pirlo from the national team, the only one left from the old team is Gigi Buffon. He will try with his experience and along with 3-4 players to convey to young players the spirit of winning. The superstar is probably missing, but the team of Antonio Conte is compact with excellent defensive line, which mainly consists of players of Juventus.
The fact that this is only the third time they will participate in a final phase of EURO is a huge success for Ireland. Ireland is one of the weakest theoretical teams that secured the ticket in the stadiums of France next summer. They have a well-trained team. Their great advantages are good defending and passion. They lack in quality, technical training and top class footballers on the field. The group, of the identifiable coach Martin O’Neill, will try with the experience of Robbie Keane to oppose, as much as possible, the other Euro 2016 groups. It will be very difficult to accomplish anything more than to finish in the last position of the group.
Without distinctions, except this back in 1992 when they reached the semifinals, Sweden will try to “break” the favorite duo, Belgium and Italy. They will also try to qualify in the next stage. They got the Euro 2016 qualification ticket in the process of barrage, leaving out Denmark in the Scandinavian derby. Now everyone’s mind is in next summer’s tournament, where having the superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the forefront, Eric Hamren’s team will try to make the excess. They have a lot of players who play in the major European leagues. The lack of first-class players in several positions and the absence of a quality bench makes the task of “Blagult” resemble extremely difficult.
Euro 2016 – Group F
Without any doubt they have been the pleasant surprise of the preliminary phase. Furthermore, not only they got the qualification easily (winner in their group), but also with the appearances they performed they disproved all forecasts. Austria scored 9 victories and had only one draw in a total of ten games. They left behind teams like Russia and Sweden. The team of Marcel Koller had the second best harvest of points after England. If we consider the teams British faced, we can easily understand the size of the success for “Unsere Burschen”. In recent years, they have managed to find players like David Alaba and Marco Arnautovic. Both of them make their presence felt in the top European leagues. They also have one of the most promising players, Kevin Wimmer, who belongs to the roster of Tottenham.
The glory of the past decades (1950s and 1960s) has gone for Hungary. World-class players are absent from the roster that will take part in the final stage next summer. It is a huge success to qualify to the stadiums of France, since this will be only their third (1964, 1972) participation. They will endeavor to compete in a group where they have another clear disadvantage in quality compared to other teams. Storck’s team is very hard to get any good position in this group of teams. So, in case they are underestimated they are capable of doing some surprises.
This will be the first participation in the final stage of the European Championship. In the beginning of the Euro 2016 draw few were those who were giving qualifying hopes to Iceland. Under the guidance of Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson, the” Strakarnir okkar” made excellent performances during the qualifying phase. They left behind teams like Netherlands. They also forced Turkey to wait until the final day to ensure the “third good” ticket that gave direct qualification. The superstar may be absent from this team, but as they proved, they are based on teamwork, passion and the will of the players for distinction.
First of all, they have in the starting lineup the top player who will take part in the biggest football event of this summer. Portugal will try in another big tournament to make the extra step. The truth is that if someone looks up in the recent past, he can ascertain that almost all the eliminations of the Iberians in the knockout phase were judged in the details. In many cases they were unlucky. The team of Fernando Santos has quality players. A great disadvantage for several years is the fact that the team lacks of a leading striker to release the superstar of Real Madrid. If they had a first class striker, they would automatically become one of the favorites for winning the tournament. Portugal had a very easy euro 2016 qualification group.