Mar 22

European Football Championship 2016

It’s certainly an interesting time to be a football fan. The upsets in the English Premier League saw the mighty fall and some new blood rise to recognition. The winter-spring excitement of the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues followed, and the summer is set to keep the pace going with the Euro 2016 Championship.

British fans will be treated to one of the most anticipated games in recent history when England come face to face with Wales on 16 June. In northern France, the venue is less than two hours from London by Eurostar, and tens of thousands of British fans are expected to pack the Bollaert Delelis Stadium for the showdown. Welsh stars Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale will come face to face with Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling on the English side, guaranteeing a match to remember between the two nations.

The Group of Death

The Republic of Ireland was drawn into the notorious ‘Group of Death’ and will have to take on Italy, Sweden and Belgium in Group E. Northern Ireland don’t have it much easier, being placed in Group C with Poland, Ukraine and 2014 World Cup winners Germany. The French hosts, on the other hand, got a nice group, and will face Switzerland, Romania and Albania in Group A.

The Spanish, the defending European champions, will be ones to watch, having landed in Group D. They will play Turkey, Croatia and the Czech Republic. Their Portuguese rivals, touting Cristiano Ronaldo, will probably fare well in Group F, coming up against Hungary, Austria and Iceland.

World Cup Dreams?

England and Wales will also meet Russia and Slovakia in the group stages. The Slovakians were victorious over the current European champions, Spain, in the qualifying matches. This means that they will present a challenge, with Slovakia being fortunate to count Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel and Napoli star Marek Hamsik in their ranks.

Russia, on the other hand, plans to host the 2018 World Cup but had struggled to qualify under ex-England manager Fabio Capello. They eventually qualified as runners-up under new manager and former player Leonid Slutski.

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