This week has seen both highs and lows for France.
The race to qualify for Europe’s premier competition next summer has been rightly overshadowed by the terrible acts of terrorism that we have witnessed.
Back to the beautiful game however as we now have a completed line up for Euro 2016.
As usual the pot seedings are questionable. I’m not sure how qualifying via the play offs means you are 2 pots higher than teams who topped the group but we are all aware that Uefa & Fifa aren’t really sure what they are doing!
But what a tournament it is shaping up to be with so many questions, new nations involved, great support for sure and perhaps most importantly the promise of a great summer of footy.
Let’s take a look at a few who may surprise or disappoint in the competition:-
Winners – Germany
Who can see past the current World Champions? They topped one of the most difficult qualifying groups it also has to be said.
With the talent at their disposal and confidence gained from Brazil 14 the “always there or thereabout” Germans will be a difficult obstacle to overcome.
Dark Horses – England
A controversial choice perhaps but I seriously believe the serial disappointers that are England have serious credentials this time around.
A 100% qualifying round and a new youthful line up could provide them with a fearless element that may surprise.
The usual problem of facing a decent side at some point will occur but the Three Lions may just have enough in the locker this time.
1st Plane Home – Republic Of Ireland
Yep, sorry it’s a home nation.
The Irish have done well to qualify but the Bosnians didn’t provide as stern a test as we had all expected.
With a pot seeding of 4 a tough group stage is inevitable and they just don’t have enough quality to compete across the channel.
Surprise Package – Austria
Came through a group containing Russia and Zlatan’s Sweden unbeaten, with 9 wins from 10, scoring 22 and conceding just 5.
Only their 2nd time at the championships and with stars such as David Alaba they can impress a few who may not be aware of them.
This is pre the official draw which will take place on December 12th it must be said.
All in all some big nations, big players and big ego’s will be landing in early July and are sure to impress.
Difficult not to start getting a little excited unless you are Scottish or Dutch!
Let’s all hope everything goes without a hitch in a country which has clearly been targeted and roll on Euro 2016.