Ukraine Dance; Lucky Fabio Gets Ukraine, France & Sweden

The Mirror (London, England), December 3, 2011 | Go to article overview

Ukraine Dance; Lucky Fabio Gets Ukraine, France & Sweden


Byline: MARTIN LIPTON

LUCKY England were handed a fantastic chance to make a Euro 2012 impression last night.

Fabio Capello and his side were all smiles after being drawn in Group D against hosts Ukraine, France and Sweden.

But they will have to travel 5,931 miles if they are to make it to the final and he said: "I know the games and that it will not be easy to beat these teams. But we know the teams well because we have played all of them.

"We played Ukraine in World Cup qualification and friendlies against both France and Sweden. They are all really good."

England start with a rematch of their Euro 2004 opener with France in Donetsk on June 11, before facing regular tournament foes Sweden in Kiev four days later.

Then on June 19 Capello's players return to Donetsk, 822 miles from their Krakow base camp to face Ukraine in the match that will decide whether their glory bid goes on or ends in humiliation at the group stage.

With world champions Spain, likely to win Group C, their potential opponents if they finish runners up, the pressure on England to win their section will be huge.

But Capello, aware that this is the opportunity for him to put the record straight after the nightmare of the 2010 World Cup, will have been delighted to have avoided the horrors facing the Republic of Ireland and even Germany.

While Capello and his men wanted to be in Poland near their base in Krakow, the draw in Kiev's Palace of Arts could not otherwise have been much kinder.

England midfielder Jack Wilshere, planning to return from injury at the end of January for Arsenal, said: "Good Draw. …

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