Italy Placed in Group of Deaths at Euro 2008 Seedings

By: Claudia Beckford

The next football event which will shake the European grounds is just around the corner. The Euro 2008 will be held on 7 June, 2008 in various cities of the countries of Switzerland and Austria.

The four group seedings for the event has recently taken place and it seems it will have an unpredictable edge as the groups are set in the following way: Pot One: Switzerland, Austria, Greece and Netherlands. Pot Two: Croatia, Italy, Czech Republic and Sweden. Pot Three: Romania, Germany, Portugal and Spain and Pot Four: Poland, France, Turkey and Russia.

UEFA draw for the 16-team tournament will be held Dec. 2 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Over the years, the Azzurri have had tough time moving forward in the team eliminations as they continue to be placed in the so called "Group of Deaths". Back in 1978 Italy had to play the host and eventual winners Argentina, France and Hungary. At the World Cup USA 1994, Italians had one the closest-fight battles as their group became the strongest in football history; Ireland, Mexico, Norway along with Italy scored almost the same amount of points. The Italians qualified only by a goal difference.

For the Euro 1996, Germany, Czech Republic and Russia were part of the group selection the Italians had to play, they were knocked out due to a head-to-head match against the Czechs.

And more recently, the scenario for the Euro 2008 points to a group in which the Azzurri could play Spain, Holland and France or perhaps even a set of un fancied teams including Poland, Romania, Sweden and Austria.

Regarding the well-known "Oranje" this team was knocked out of the last World Cup in the second round, and they did have to work hard in order to qualify for Euro 2008 in a very weak group. Holland possibly has the worst defence after Austria but it is their back-line which helps with names like: Wilfred Bouma, Andre Ooijer and Mario Melchiot. Holland, will be allowed to play all their games in the one location and have an advantage due to their Pot One position.

The above mentioned seedings have been arranged according to a coefficient shown during the matches won and lost and goals scored throughout the qualifying for the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008.

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