Sport Soccer

Sunday 19 November 2017

England to remain in Krakow

ENGLAND manager Fabio Capello has said that England will not move their base from Krakow, even though all of their group games will be played in Ukraine.

Capello said he is "happy with the facilities" although his team will be spending a lot of time in the air.

Two of their matches are in Donetsk, on the eastern frontier of Ukraine, 930 miles away from Krakow, the other is in Kiev.

In the other groups it could fairly be said that every team from Group B -- Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal and Germany -- could beat every team from Group A -- Poland, Czech Republic, Greece and Russia.

The teams of Group B have a combined Fifa ranking of just 23; those of Group B reach 126.

Group B is one of the strongest European Championship groups in living memory. It contains two plausible winners in Germany -- runners-up at Euro 2008, and the Netherlands -- runners-up at the 2010 World Cup. Competing with those two traditional giants are Denmark and Portugal.

Group A, though, is an unfortunate demonstration of what happens when the host nations are seeded. Poland were pre-positioned in Group A by virtue of being joint-hosts, and they will be joined by the three most comfortable opponents from each of the other pots.

Russia are the likely favourites for the group, having reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008. Opponents Greece won it in 2004 while the Czech Republic were the beaten finalists in 1996.

Irish Independent

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