Today was the drawing to determine the initial 4 groups of four teams to start competition in next year's European Championship tournament in Poland and the Ukraine. These are the groups that were drawn:
A: Poland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic (31.5)
B: Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal (5.75)
C: Spain, Italy, Ireland, Croatia (9.75)
D: Ukraine, Sweden, France, England. (23.25)
The numbers in brackets indicate the average team ranking for each group according to the current FIFA rankings (overall, not restricted to Europe, which exaggerates the differences somewhat). The extraordinary spread results from the fact that Poland and the Ukraine, the two lowest-ranked teams in the competition, qualified as host nations and were seated ahead of powerhouses such as Germany and England. Result: We have the mother of all groups of death in group B, where the lowest-ranked team is ranked higher than the highest-ranked team in group A.
Some implications in my comment...
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