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By Tom Rostance
1905: So that's all from me for tonight. Join me back here on Saturday for coverage of a cracking Premier League day as well as FA Cup action and the best of the Football League. Cheers and goodnight.
1900: England have confirmed that they will play Netherlands at Wembley on 29 February. The original match was postponed in August after the riots in London.
1859: Mal Logan, sports editor of the Irish Times on BBC Radio 5 live: "The expectation level won't be too high. We've got a reasonable record against Italy and Trapattoni will relish it. The best they can hope for is second place, but in terms of travelling it's a good draw."
1856: England boss Fabio Capello on BBC 5 live: "All the teams [in our group] are really good. We are absolutely not changing base. We found a really good place and we are happy with the facilities." Asked if he would like to face Italy and Ireland in the last eight he said: "I hope we will play one of these two teams. Group B is very difficult because Portugal, Germany and Holland is really tough. The best group was Group A, but we are happy with Group D. It's a tough group but it's better than Group B."
Opta Sports on Twitter:
"7 - England have never won their opening game of a European Championship finals, losing four and drawing three of seven so far. Nerves."
1852: England manager Fabio Capello tells BBC 5 live that England will 'absolutely not' change their base from Krakow in Poland - despite being drawn to play all their Group D games in Ukraine.
Anonymous on text, via 81111: "Re Libertarian GB at 1840 - There shouldn't be any debate on the matter! Watch Ireland vs Italy live, and get someone to record the birth. You can always watch it later!!"
1845: Poland will fancy their chances to get through in Group A after a favourable draw, while Netherlands v Germany in Kharkiv on 13 June is another show-stopper of a game. I think I'm supposed to be on a stag do that weekend but whatever antics we had planned are getting canned until that one is finished.
1840: That Ireland v Italy tie promises to be a real highlight, with manager Giovanni Trapattoni coming up against his native land and plenty of memories of Ray Houghton's World Cup winner for the Republic in 1994. Old Ray will be a busy man on the phones in the week running up to that one.
Libertarian GB on Twitter:
"Ireland vs Italy on 18 June - same day as when my first child is due. Decisions. Decisions. #euro2012 #bbcfootball"
1835: It appears the England v France game will kick off at 1700 our time, not 1600. Apologies there. Whatever the time, it is set to be a cracker. England started their Euro 2004 tournament against France of course, and were winning until the last few minutes when Zinedine Zidane scored a brace. He netted a penalty seconds after vomiting on the pitch. A true pro.
Niall Hughes on Twitter:
"Surely that draw now guarantees Rooney a spot in the squad? Glide in to knockouts and have a fit Wayne for Italy/Spain/Ireland #BBCFootball"
1829: Croatia manager Slaven Bilic, after his side were handed a group with Spain, Italy and Republic of Ireland: "It is a tough group, but you can't get easy opponents, it's the 16 best teams in Europe. We have a privilege to play the world champions and the former world champions. Spain are the favourites. Trapattoni is a genius and a top man and I am looking forward to playing against him once more."
1824: For those of you asking about kick-off times, the group stages will kick of at 1600 or 1945 our time. So you need to wangle an early dart from work for the France and Sweden games.
Former England winger Darren Anderton on BBC Radio 5 live: "Distances between games don't really affect the players - the set up will be professional and it won't come into it at all. France is a tough game - no doubt about it. They played us off the park at Wembley and they've got a lot to prove after the World Cup. That's the toughest game no doubt, but we've bounced back from the World Cup as well and the draw should give us even more confidence."
1821: England's opponents are ranked at 15 (France), 18 (Sweden) and 55 (Ukraine).
1820: A quick glance at the (admittedly dubious) Fifa world rankings illustrates just how tough Republic of Ireland's group is shaping up to be. They face the best team in the world (Spain), and numbers eight (Croatia) and nine (Italy).
1818: Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni: "We have to think about football where anything is possible, we have to play with the same mentality we have shown and I am confident. I know Italy better but every game is different, Spain are also a very, very strong team but we have to think about our moment. It is important now that our squad is complete with no injuries."
Former England winger Darren Anderton on BBC Radio 5 live: "It's a good draw - when you look at it France are going well but we start as favourites against Sweden and Ukraine. Group B and C are very difficult so we can have no complaints."
From anonymous on text, via 81111: "The fiancee and I haven't cheered like that since Beckham scored against Greece. Wedding on June 9th can go ahead with minimal interruptions!"
Paul Ince on BBC Radio 5 live: "If we can't get through that group we've got ourselves to blame. Fabio Capello won't take anything for granted, but he'll have a little smile to himself and think we can get through to the later stages."
Former England captain Paul Ince on BBC Radio 5 live: "Overall we've got to be absolutely delighted. It' a fantastic group for us - the gods have been smiling down on us."
1809: Looking optimistically ahead then, England and Republic of Ireland could be set for a quarter final clash in either Donetsk or Kiev. Last eight meeting anyone? Whichever eight teams make it through we are set for some cracking games. England v Spain? England v Italy? England v Republic of Ireland? France v Italy/Spain?
1807: According to a quick online map consultation, it looks like by road, it'll take the England fans just shy of 10 hours to journey from their first group game against France to their second versus Sweden. A 730km drive. Ouch.
Mark Lawrenson on BBC Two: "Ireland's group is extremely tough, England's is tough but certainly winnable."
1801: Republic of Ireland start their campaign against Croatia in Poznan on 10 June, then face Spain in Gdansk on 14 June before playing Italy on 18 June back in Poznan.
1800: So England fans, the group stage fixtures are going to look like this. England will open against France in Donetsk on 11 June 2012, play Sweden in Kiev on 15 June and end against Ukraine back in Donetsk on 19 June. A lot of travelling for Fabio Capello's men.
Group A: Poland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic.
Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal.
Group C: Spain, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Croatia.
Group D: Ukraine, Sweden, France, England.
1755: So England were the last team out of the hat and will play Ukraine, Sweden and France, while Republic of Ireland face Italy, Spain and Croatia. I will confirm all the groups momentarily as well as bringing you reaction. You feel Fabio Capello will be delighted to have dodged Group C and the proverbial group of death, Group B.
England are drawn into Group D.
Italy are drawn into Group C.
Germany are drawn into Group B.
Russia are drawn into Group A.
1750: So Republic of Ireland have got a tough group coming up with Spain and Croatia, while England will want to be in Group A with Poland, Greece and Czech Republic for sure.
Sweden are drawn into Group D.
Croatia are drawn into Group C.
Portugal are drawn into Group B.
Greece are drawn into Group A.
1746: That finishes the draw for Pot Four, and what a draw for Republic of Ireland. Here come the teams from Pot Three.
France are drawn into Group D.
1744: So Ireland are facing champions Spain.
Republic of Ireland are drawn into Group C.
Denmark are drawn into Group B.
Czech Republic are drawn into Group A.
Spain are drawn into Group C.
Netherlands are drawn into Group B.
1734: A nice tribute to Gary Speed on stage before we start. People, we are imminent. I'll be bringing you the countries one by one as they are pulled out. Don't forget England will be one of the last four out. First up is Pot One.
1731: "It's almost time for the main event" Fulham fan Olga Freimut tells us. Not yet though, it's time to see who qualified and how. Just time for you to get a brew on before it all begins.
1725: Some big news - the official match ball is being unveiled by former pole vaulter Sergey Bubka. No doubt the goalkeepers of Europe will be getting their excuses in already about this one being 'too round' or moving too much. For the record it's called the Tango 12 and it looks very pleasant.
1724: Zinedine Zidane on stage there, having the cheek to speak French. Now he was a gem of a player. France didn't find themselves in Pot Four while he was still playing. Stay with me, we are nearing some actual ball-drawing action. Honest.
1720: There's Marco van Basten representing Euro 88. Scorer of the best goal ever? What a volley it was in the final. Brilliant. Ruud Gullit had an awesome hair/moustache combo as well. Steve Stone pipped to the 96 role by Oliver Bierhoff. A shame that.
1719: We are now being paraded by a legend from each European Championship. Watch out for Steve Stone representing Euro 96.
Jonathan Pearce on BBC Two: "Fabio was rocking out to Jamala in Row L."
1712: We are now being treated to a piece of Ukrainian pop gold from the delectable Jamala. It's called 'Goal'. You have to wonder what Fabio Capello is making of this.
1710: Jonathan Pearce tells us that glamorous co-host Olga Freimut is a Fulham supporter. I have no idea how often she gets down to the Cottage though to be honest. We are now being treated to a stadium by stadium guide by the way. The draw is on its way, I promise.
BBC pundit and former Republic of Ireland defender Mark Lawrenson on BBC Two: "Whoever England draw they have to learn from those massive mistakes they made in the World Cup. Not just the players, but the manager too. From Ireland's point of view, it would be a great fixture against England, but they would like something easier."
Mike Martin on Twitter:
"#BBCFootball Just simulated draw in my room with paper and ice cream tub. England got Holland, Sweden and Czechs. Took three minutes."
1649: Whoever makes Fabio Capello's final 23, they could be in for some travelling. England have
based themselves in Krakow
for the tournament, but should they get drawn into Group B or D then they will be in the wrong country and could face travelling anywhere up to 900 miles each way to play in Ukraine. That's like being based 200 miles further north than John O'Groats and playing at Wembley. Quite a trip.
1645: The hall in Kiev is filling up with a who's who of European football as we speak. The ceremony is due to start in 15 minutes or so with the actual draw beginning around 1737. Marvellously precise info from Uefa.
1642: A special Match of the Day is about to kick off with Gary Lineker steering you through the draw. Don't go away though - it will appear at the top of your screen once you hit refresh.
Phil Sharp on Twitter:
"#bbcfootball What true football fan organises their wedding during a major tournament? Get your priorities straight."
1640: Has Harry Redknapp got your backing? Who else would you like to see given a chance? Let me know. While you're at it give me your suggestions for attacking options, given that Wayne Rooney is set to miss the group stage through suspension - pending an appeal.
Darren in Aylesbury on text, via 81111: "I have tickets for B3 v B4 so hoping for Ireland, I also want England in Group A as we are in Krakow that first weekend."
1635: The tournament will of course be Fabio Capello's finale as England manager, and Spurs boss Harry Redknapp - favourite to replace the Italian - says he doesn't think the FA should announce a successor during the season if that person is currently in a club job. Redknapp said: "It would leave the club he works for in a difficult position. It wouldn't be fair to them."
James Stevenson on Twitter:
"Wish Scotland would qualify for a major competition this Euro 2012 draw is making me jealous! #BBCFootball #SFA"
1628: Sweden forward Ola Toivonen has got no time at all for poor Andy Thorpe's wedding dilemma (1605). "If I wish, I could take England," he said. "It would be nice to play against England, without (suspended striker Wayne) Rooney, for example in one of the first two games, or something, and then maybe Ukraine or Poland; One of those three would be good."
Greg from Bath on text, via 81111: "Decided on a trip to Donetsk to see two random matches next June. Waiting to see who we're going to see. Hoping for anyone but Greece!"
1625: Cillian Madden (below) will be happy to hear that Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has already begun planning for a potential meeting with England. "Psychologically, I would like to avoid Italy," he said. "Also, from a technical standpoint, the Azzurri should always be avoided. I would prefer to measure up against Capello's England. In fact, I have already got some counter moves ready."
1620: Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has told his Arsenal team-mates he will grow his hair in the style of compatriot Jan Tomaszewski if Poland draw England. Tomaszewski was the star of the show when Poland drew 1-1 with England in 1973, a result that denied Sir Alf Ramsey's side a place in the following year's World Cup. Szczesny said: "I told the lads I'm going to grow long hair if we draw England. I might have to wear a wig because there won't be enough time to grow it." What a character.
1615: As usual, the Germans are speaking sense. Their coach Joachim Loew has said: "This draw does not have a big influence on the tournament. Neither in the group stage nor afterwards will there be easy games. You have to prepare comprehensively for all 15 sides." England can't face Germany in the groups but we could be on for a penalty shoot-defeat at any other stage...
Greg in London on text, via 81111: "It's ok for host nations not to have to qualify, but giving them a top seed spot is a joke, especially when there are two hosts."
1607: There are a whole host of 'groups of death' that could happen as well. My particular favourite would be Spain, Germany, Portugal and France. A real frightener.
1605: Looking at the 16 teams in action, you have to say the old adage of there being 'no easy games' rings true. Fabio Capello has
had his say today,
saying he wants to give Spain, Netherlands, Portugal and France a swerve in the group stage, while Republic boss Giovanni Trapattoni wants to avoid his native Italy.
Andy Thorpe on Twitter:
"Marrying my Swedish fiancee in Sweden on the 9th June, don't fancy England vs Sweden on same day, nightmare! MUST AVOID GROUP B! #BBCFootball"
1600: Then the teams in Pot Three are picked out, which are Croatia, Greece, Portugal and Sweden. That leaves England to find out their fate last of all as Pot Two is decided. Fabio Capello's men are in amongst Germany, Italy and Russia in the last pot.
1555: We will then draw the four teams in Pot Four into a group each, so Denmark, France, Czech Republic and Republic of Ireland will all learn which top seed they are up against.
Kane Wheatley on Twitter:
"If England are drawn against France then I'm cycling from Paris to London for charity! Letting fate decide!! #BBCFootball"
Jonno Janner on text, via 81111: "Doesn't really matter who we get. We beat Spain and have a great squad on the rise. Come on Fabio!!!"
1552: The two remaining teams in Pot One - defending champions Spain and Netherlands - will then be drawn as either B1 or C1. With me so far?
1549: Ready for some draw info? Good. The 16 teams will been drawn into four groups of four teams each (Groups A to D). Poland have already been placed in Group A as A1, with co-hosts Ukraine in Group D as D1.
1543: But first we want you to get involved. Have you got any tickets? Are you planning a last-minute dash to eastern Europe in the hope of picking some up for the price of a small Ukrainian village? How are England and Republic of Ireland going to fare? Who's going to win it? Should Fabio Capello talk Emile Heskey out of retirement to replace the suspended Wayne Rooney? Let me know. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag
or text in via 81111 (UK).
1538: But fear not, for the draw gets underway at 1700 our time and Uefa is even promising that it will be sorted in less than an hour. Incredible. I'll shortly be giving you a quick rundown of how it is going to work.
1534: Yep, I'm sure there are plenty of you out there who have already purchased tickets, booked some flights and reserved a hostel in Wroclaw. But what you, and indeed everyone, needs to know is just what you've got in store from that ticket to A2 v A4. You could be in for England v Republic of Ireland, but then again you could be faced with the prospect of Russia v Denmark. We just don't know - yet...
1530: Made your plans for next summer yet? Got a few weddings on the horizon, maybe thinking of moving house? Shelve all that, we've got far more important dates to ink on the calendar. It's time to find out who England and the Republic of Ireland are going to play at Euro 2012, when they are going to play them, and at what stadiums. Excited? Me too.
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