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England face Wales in Euro 2012 qualifying group

Fabio Capello is joined by managers of the other teams in Group G
Fabio Capello is joined by managers of the other teams in Group G

England and Wales have been drawn in the same qualifying group for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

Switzerland, Bulgaria and Montenegro are the other teams in Group G following the draw in Warsaw.

Scotland were drawn with holders Spain and the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland face Italy, while the Republic of Ireland are in Russia's group.

There are 14 places available alongside the co-hosts for the tournament which runs from 8 June to 1 July.

England manager Fabio Capello said his team had been drawn in one of the two toughest groups, despite avoiding tricky second seeds such as Turkey, Sweden and Serbia.

Switzerland, who topped their group to qualify for World Cup 2010, are 18th in Fifa's world rankings, while Bulgaria are 30th and Montenegro 72nd.

England last played Wales back in 2005 in a World Cup qualifier, claiming a 1-0 win in Cardiff.

"All four opponents are really dangerous," Capello said. "Wales will be my first derby as manager of an international team. It will be interesting. They are really young but the value of the players is high.

"I prefer a smaller group because we have less games but the group is very tough.

"Switzerland qualified for the World Cup, they are one of the best teams. I remember when I played against them it was not easy to win away.

"I have big confidence in my team and I am sure we will play a fantastic qualifying tournament for 2012."

Interview: Scotland manager Craig Levein

Wales last qualified for the finals of a major championship at the 1958 World Cup, but they did reach the quarter-finals of the European Championship in 1976 when the tournament was decided on a knockout basis.

"Without doubt, drawing England will please all the Welsh fans - plenty of history there and we like nothing better than another chance against the old enemy," said Wales manager John Toshack.

"I know Fabio Capello quite well, so will look forward to being able to pit our talents against a powerful England team later in the year."

606: DEBATE
Kop that

Scotland's group presents a daunting first challenge for new manager Craig Levein, who revealed in the build-up to the draw that he would love to face England.

As well as top-ranked Spain and the Czechs, the Tartan Army also face trips to Liechtenstein and Lithuania.

"It's exciting, especially with Spain coming out of the hat," said Levein.

"I am pretty sure that the Scotland fans will be looking forward to Spain coming to Hampden and to a little holiday over there.

"It is no secret that Spain should be favourites to win the group if they play as they can but it might be easier in a five-team group to get that second place.

"We need to get some momentum between now and then, if we can do that then we are more than capable of causing problems for everyone in the group. We are in with a fighting chance."

Joining Northern Ireland in Group C are world champions Italy, World Cup qualifiers Serbia, Slovenia, Estonia and the Faroe Islands.

The Republic, cruelly denied a place in the 2010 World Cup by Thierry Henry's handball, take on the Russians, Slovakia, Macedonia, Armenia and Andorra.

Elsewhere, Euro 2000 winners France are up against Romania and Belarus, Croatia and 2004 champions Greece are paired together, while Portugal will take on the Scandinavian duo Norway and Denmark.

Netherlands, who won the European Championships in 1988, also have a difficult group with Hungary, Finland and Moldova.

The road to the finals kicks off in September through to October 2011 with the nine group winners automatically qualifying for the tournament together with the runner-up with the best overall record.

The eight other runners-up will then face play-offs over two legs in November 2011.

Poland and Ukraine will be only the third co-hosts of the European Championship, following in the footsteps of Belgium and the Netherlands in 2000 and Austria and Switzerland in 2008.


Euro 2012 qualifying draw:

GROUP A: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Austria, Turkey, Germany

GROUP B: Andorra, Armenia, Macedonia, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Russia

GROUP C: Faroe Islands, Estonia, Slovenia, NORTHERN IRELAND, Serbia, Italy

GROUP D: Luxembourg, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Romania, France

GROUP E: San Marino, Moldova, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands

GROUP F: Malta, Georgia, Latvia, Israel, Greece, Croatia

GROUP G: Montenegro,WALES, Bulgaria, Switzerland, ENGLAND

GROUP H: Iceland, Cyprus, Norway, Denmark, Portugal

GROUP I: Liechtenstein, Lithuania, SCOTLAND, Czech Republic, Spain



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see also
Toshack excited by Euro 2012 draw
07 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Capello silent on captaincy issue
07 Feb 10 |  Football
Sunday's football as it happened
07 Feb 10 |  Football
Capello strips Terry of captaincy
05 Feb 10 |  Football
Ukraine face finals struggle
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals


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