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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

UEFA EURO 2012: Critical phase

UEFA EURO 2012: Critical phase. 45296.jpegWith the group stage nearing completion as the 51 teams competing take on their last two or three games, with hosts Poland and Ukraine already qualified, Russia leads group B, taking on second-placed Republic of Ireland in Moscow on September 6.

Germany has its passport already stamped after 8 games and 8 victories in Group A, a feat which Russia will practically guarantee with a home win over the Republic of Ireland in Moscow on Tuesday in Group B. In Group C, Italy is only one point away from securing victory. Crunch matches in Group D will be Romania v. France and Bosnia v. Belarus, which could make for a close finish, making this one of the most interesting groups.

 In Group E, we have the team which has scored most goals - Netherlands, well on track with 7 victories in seven games, 33 goals scored, and the least - San Marino,  eight straight defeats, no goals scored and 44 suffered. If the Netherlands wins its difficult game away in Finland on Tuesday, the orange team will qualify for the final stage; if not, the decision will be put off, since Sweden has an apparently easy visit to San Marino.

Group F is another tight group with Greece just ahead of Croatia by one point (17 to 16). Croatia hosts Israel on Tuesday, in which case a victory would end any aspirations the visiting team may have (13 points), while Greece travels to Latvia. Malta and Georgia are already out of the running. In Group G, England guarantees its place in the finals if Fabio Capello's team beats Wales.

Portugal sits out as spectator in Group H, as Denmark takes on Norway and Iceland hosts Cyprus. Portugal leads with 13 points, followed by Norway (13) and Denmark (10). Should Denmark win, the top three teams will enter the last games neck-and-neck with the same number of points. The Group could well be decided in the match between Denmark and Portugal on October 11.

Finally, in Group I Spain (World Champion, 5 games, 5 victories) needs to beat Liechtenstein to guarantee its presence in the EURO 2012 to defend its title.

 

Country Games Points Goals

 

Group A

 

Germany          8 24 28-5

Turkey             7 13 11-8

Belgium           8 12 16-11

Austria            7   7 12-16

Azerbaijan      7   4  6-19

Kazakhstan     7   3  3-17

 

Group B

 

Russia              7 16 10-4

Rep. Ireland     7 14 11-6

Slovakia            7 14   6-4

Armenia            7 11 13-7

Macedonia        7   4   5-9

Andorra            7   0   1-16

 

Group C

 

Italy                 7 19 15-2

Slovenia           8 11 10-6

Serbia              7 11  9-9

Estonia            8 10  9-12

N. Ireland        7   9  7-4

Faroe Islands  9   4  5-23

 

Group D

 

France             7 16 11-3

Bosnia-H.       7 13 10-7

Belarus           8 12   6-4

Romania         7 11 10-6

Albania           7   8   5-8 

Luxemburg     8   1   1-15

 

 

Group E

 

Netherlands    7 21 32-5   

Sweden            7 15 22-7

Hungary          8 15 20-14

Moldavia         7   6  8-13

Finland            6   9 15-7

S. Marino        8   0   0-44

 

Group F

 

Greece             7 17   9-3

Croatia            7 16 13-4

Israel              8 13 10-8

Georgia           8   9   5-6

Latvia             7   7   5-10

Malta              7   0   3-16

 

Group G

 

England            6 14 14-3

Montenegro      6 11   5-3

Switzerland      5   5   7-7

Bulgaria            6   5   2-9

Wales               5   3   3-9

 

Group H

 

Portugal            6 13 15-7

Norway             6 13   7-4

Denmark           5 10   7-4

Cyprus              5   2   5-12

Iceland             5   1   2-7

 

Group I

 

Spain               5 15 15-5

Czech Rep.      6  10  8-5

Scotland          5    5  6-7

Lithuania          6    5  3-8

Liechtenstein   6    4  3-10

 

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

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